Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, Memphis
191 Beale Street
Memphis , Tennessee
Tel: 901 205 2533
Concierge.com's insider take:
One half-block south of the intersection of Beale Street and Third, you'll find this interactive museum on the plaza outside the NBA Grizzlies' home, the FedExForum. The Smithsonian Institute chose this location to host its first-ever permanent exhibit outside Washington, D.C.: "Rock 'n' Soul: Social Crossroads." The exhibit details how the uniquely earthy sounds of Memphis's alleys, juke joints, choir lofts, and fields coalesced to become American popular music at the hallowed grounds of Beale Street, Sun Studio, and Soulsville, USA. A great place for music-loving tourists to start, the museum's seven galleries tie together Memphis's celebrated music forms—the blues, rock 'n' roll, and soul—through 100 music clips that you can choose from five vintage jukeboxes, as well as cool artifacts like the Reverend Al Green's bible and robe, B.B. King's beloved guitar named "Lucille," and the control board that producer Sam Phillips used to record the first Elvis hit, "That's Alright Mama." In addition to the Smithsonian exhibit, the museum devotes one gallery to new exhibits, which often highlight how Memphis music has influenced modern artists.