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Stax Museum of American Soul Music

926 E McLemore Ave, Memphis, TN 38126, USA
| +1 901-261-6338
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Stax Museum of American Soul Music Memphis Tennessee United States

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Tue - Sun 10am - 5pm

Stax Museum of American Soul Music

During the 1960s and ’70s, some of the greatest soul, R&B, and funk music ever recorded was done so in a modest movie-theater-turned-studio named Stax Records. The company went bankrupt in 1976, however, and the recording studio fell into disrepair as the surrounding neighborhood steadily declined. Then, at the turn of the century, a non-profit group swooped in and rebuilt the facility, turning it into a museum dedicated to the history of soul music as well as an academy providing musical education and performance opportunities for at-risk youth.  

The shrine to “Soulsville U.S.A.” now features exhibits like a circa-1906 Mississippi Delta church, which was reassembled inside the museum to represent the true birthplace of soul music; flamboyant costumes from performers like Rufus Thomas and Ike Turner; musical instruments and memorabilia associated with classic songs; the dance floor from the iconic Soul Train TV show; and Isaac Hayes’s custom, gold-plated 1972 Cadillac Eldorado.

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about 5 years ago

Stax Museum of American Soul Music

“Well, after Graceland and Sun Studio we just didn’t save time for Stax. Guess we were a little music-museum’ed out.” -People who recently visited Memphis, offering an excuse that simply won’t fly! Memphis definitely has a great share of musical culture to absorb and sights to see, and you won’t go wrong with Graceland and Sun. But soul music—specifically the contributions of Stax Records artists—is an amazing part of the Memphis music heritage, making this a place any music fan will want to stop. The Stax Museum opened in 2003 and stands on the site where the Stax Records studio once operated (and whose roster included Isaac Hayes, Sam and Dave, Rufus Thomas, the Staple Singers and house band Booker T. & the M.G.'s). In a relatively small space, the museum gives visitors a soul music primer before letting them stroll through countless 45s, photographs, outlandish clothes, original recording equipment and (the total show-stealer) Isaac Hayes’ 1972 gold plated Cadillac.