There are several cities that played a pivotal role in the development of 20th century American Music among which Memphis shaped the evolution of different modern music styles. Every year thousands of travelers visit Memphis to witness its music scene. Beale Street is a landmark destination for both locals and tourists.
It is lined with a variety of music clubs, bars, live music, outdoor concerts and restaurants. The place oozes of energy all year round. When in Beale Street it feels like walking through a musical Mecca. Though one may argue that New York is the home to musical megastars, the roots of rhythm n blues, soul, rock n roll and gospel were laid at Memphis.
If you are planning to a trip to Memphis to check out their fun-filled music events visit the website wearememphis.com. The website contains detailed information about the city including history of Memphis, upcoming music events, best accommodation and restaurant suggestions. It serves as an excellent Memphis guide for tourists.
The convergence of African and American cultures contributes to Memphis’s music scene. The 3 popular music genres that were conceived here are:
Blues: W.C Handy wrote the first Blues song ‘Boss Crump Blues’ (later named as ‘The Memphis Blues’) in 1909. The unique music attracted several musicians and by 1913 when ‘St. Louis Blues’ was introduced, the Blues style exploded in popularity.
Soul music: This shimmering music style was developed in 1960s and 70s in Stax Studio. In 1961 siblings Estelle Axton and Jim Stewart renovated an old movie theatre and transformed it into a recording studio. 800 singles and 300 LPs were recorded here over a period of 14 years.
Rock n Roll: During late 60s Elvis Presley joined hands with Moman and delivered several hits. When Moman took charge, Elvis Presley was already popular. Moman brought changes to Elvis’s recording by removing few associates of Elvis from the studio and found the right writers for him as a result of which he rose in monumental popularity again.
Music-related hotspots in Memphis:
- Beale Street: After World War II many musicians in the South moved to Memphis due to poverty. Gradually Beale Street was filled with clubs that showcased the skills of these aspiring musicians. The Handy Park at Beale Street, named after W.C. Handy father of Blues.
- Sun Studio: This was the starting point of Rock n Roll music and is considered as the first rock n roll recording studio by many. It was opened by Sam Phillips, one of the fathers of rock n roll in 1950. Famous artists including Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Warren Smith, Johnny Cash and Charlie Rich have done their recordings here.
- Stax Records: Originally named as the Satellite, it was built during 1957 and is synonymous with American Soul music. It was the home to Isaac Heyes, Otis Redding, The Staple Singers, Johnnie Taylor, Sam & Dev etc.
- Ardent Studio: This world-class recording studio was started by John Fry in 1966. The star had been spending his early years recording songs with his friends at his parent’s garage. His original recording studio was later upgraded to a different location on Madison Avenue on 1971.
Include these iconic hotspots to your itinerary if you are a music-lover. Submerge yourself in music when in Memphis.