Memphis Rock N Soul Museum
191 Beale St @ 3rd St (Hwy 161), Memphis, TN, USA
www.memphisrocknsoul.org - (901) 205-2533
Memphis Rock N Soul Museum Reviews
Music history lesson in Memphis Aug 15, 2012
No trip to Memphis would be complete without at least a short stroll down Beale Street. While taking mine, I decided to visit the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum next to the FedEx Forum (home to the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies).
The Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum tells the story of music in Memphis and its influence on the world at large. Areas in the museum cover:
• Rural culture & music – how the musical traditions of the rural South were a part of daily life, be it gathering on the porch for a make-shift performance or listening to the Grand Ole Opry on a battery-powered radio.
• Coming to Memphis – how all the musical pieces started to come together in Memphis as people from the country began migrating to the city.
• Sun Records & Youth Culture – many unknown musicians got their start at small companies like Sun Records. The founder of Sun Records, Sam Phillips, took a chance on the likes of B.B. King, Roy Orbison, and Elvis.
• Soul Music - embodying African-American cultural identity and aspirations in the volatile 1960s, soul music became a vehicle for political expression and community activism.
• Social Changes – during the civil rights era, the music that came from the streets and studios of Memphis led a cultural, social and civil rights revolution of its own.
• Bravo Gallery – celebrating the accomplishments of Memphis' many performers, recorders and production pioneers.
Admission is usually $11 for adults. I was able to get a discount with my AAA card. And the tour really isn’t a full guided tour. You are part of a group that starts by watching the introductory video together. Staff then hands you an audio guide, and you’re free to wander the museum at your own pace. Be sure to take advantage of the audio guide, not only for more information on the displays but also to listen to the many included songs that compliment the various displays.
And for anyone who might be wondering about the quality of such a subject, thinking it might be high on kitsch and low on quality or just another “tourist trap,” the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum was developed in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of American History (NMAH). So the artifacts are authentic & the story is real!
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A good and quick historic pitstop when in Memphis Jun 19, 2011
For $11 (or $10 with your AAA card), you can take a self-guided self-paced tour of the Memphis Rock n Soul Museum. You get a quick video about the history of music (quite subjective and exclusive of info) and then you get to wander a small museum on your own with a headset. Each station allows you to input a number into your headset and then it will take about that station. You could burn more time if you listen to the headset AND read the displays. There are also 2 stations that let you listen to several songs from the era.
If you're not interested or bring young children with you, you could RUN through the museum in 10 minutes. But if you like history and music and really choose the venue for what they have, it could take you up to 45 minutes-1 hour to get through it.
The museum does a pretty good job of laying the history of music and some of the most important aspect of it's development. The Rock n Sould museum is "about the birth of rock and soul music, as created by the Smithsonian Institution, and tells the story of musical pioneers who, for the love of music, overcame racial and socio-economic barriers to create the music that shook the entire world."
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