Memphis loves music, and when you visit the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, you’ll get the opportunity to explore the world of music that made Memphis famous. There are many galleries spread throughout the museum that will take you throughout history in a musical exploration of the city of Memphis and the sounds of rock and soul.
The Rural Culture exhibit displays life in the rural communities of the Mississippi Delta. Hard work, economic exploitation and segregation filled the area, and the people took a heavy faith in religion and music to get them by. In this gallery, the lives of these people are brought back to life, with displays on the musical icons that worked in the fields before the studios.
Likewise, the Rural Music gallery shows the creation of a musical revolution, where work songs, ballads and gospel hymns were passed on from generation to generation, and where people produced their own music. The rural community would exchange different techniques, lyrics and melodies among both races and classes.
Then music traveled to Memphis. The Coming to Memphis exhibit sheds some light on the segregation of people, and how music overcame it. The airwaves, recordings and live performances in Memphis brought music to all people, regardless of race.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, new ideas and music became foundations of institutions. While Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the nation in a civil rights revolution, the music created a revolution of its own. In the Social Changes exhibit, the sound of the city is brought back to life, reflecting changes in the culture, society and civil rights of the time.
Memphis is ground-zero for rock and roll and soul music. In the Beat Goes On gallery, Eric Clapton, The Beatles, The Who, U2, Billy Joel and ZZ Top all address the inspiration and influence that music and Memphis have on the world the world, even today. This exhibit helps reinforce the idea that some voices will never die.
The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum relays the entire Memphis music story in these and other galleries. The museum came to life over 12 years ago, and, since then, has attracted more than 200,000 visitors from across the globe to learn about the development of rock ‘n’ roll and the musical and cultural changes that impacted the world.
When visiting Memphis, make sure you stay nearby all of the musical history. The Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis-Beale Street, Doubletree Hotel Memphis Downtown and Holiday Inn Select Downtown – Memphis, TN are all less than a half-mile away from the museum.