Stax Museum of American Soul Music
There is no place in Memphis that better tells the story of the city’s legendary soul music than the Stax Museum of American Soul Music (926 E. McLemore Ave., 901/946-2535, www.staxmuseum.com, adults $10, seniors, students, and military $9, children 9–12 $7). Hours are Monday–Saturday 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and Sunday 1–4 p.m., with doors opening on weekdays at 9 a.m. from March to October.
The museum tour starts with a short toe-tapping video that sets the scene for the musical magic that took place here during the 1960s. Exhibits include the sanctuary of an old clapboard Delta church, which illustrates the connection between soul and gospel music. You can also see Booker T. Jones’s original organ, Otis Redding’s favorite suede leather jacket, and Isaac Hayes’s 1972 peacock-blue gold-trimmed Cadillac Eldorado, Superfly.
The museum also takes you through the studio’s control room and into the studio itself, slanted floors and all. If you want to try your hand, there is a karaoke machine and a dance floor in case you can’t help but move to the music. The Stax museum is a must-see for music enthusiasts, but also an educational journey for those who don’t know the story behind some of America’s most famous songs. It sits next door to the Stax Music Academy, a present-day music school that reaches out to neighborhood youth.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Tennessee, 5th Edition