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STAX Museum of American Soul Music, Memphis

926 E. McLemore Avenue
South Memphis
Memphis , Tennessee
Tel: 901 942 7685's insider take:

The STAX Museum strives to explicate, to illuminate, and to elucidate the sound this recording studio originated—"sweet soul music." STAX stands as the centerpiece of the inspiring rebirth of "Soulsville, USA," an area of South Memphis once known for its soul-music prolificacy. The museum opened in 2003 on the site of STAX Records, the legendary soul label begun by brother-and-sister team Jim Stewart and Stella Axton, which now stands second only to Motown in its sales and influence. From 1960 to 1975, STAX's various labels released work recorded in their famed Studio A by giants in soul and other genres, including Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Bill Cosby, and Richard Pryor.

The 17,000-square-foot STAX Museum offers fascinating exhibits and film and music clips detailing the history of soul. Billing itself as the only museum in the world devoted specifically to soul, STAX magnanimously highlights success stories from competing labels as well, such as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, James Brown, and Memphis's own Reverend Al Green. Adjacent to the museum, explore the state-of-the-art STAX Music Academy, where music educators hope to spawn a new generation of Arethas and Otis Reddings by mentoring inner-city youth.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.