According to the Smithsonian Institution, “In the quest to identify the roots of America’s music, all roads led to Memphis.” And that revelation led to the collaboration by the National Museum of American History, and the Smithsonian to develop the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.
More than just an exhibit of costumes and guitars, the museum chronicles the story of social change, of breaking barriers of segregation and racial and social prejudice that once permeated our society. It tells the story of how music changed, but more importantly the story of how the music changed our world.
The museum provides a comprehensive view of Memphis music beginning with the rural field holler and porch music in the 1930s, through the impact of the civil rights movement, and the influence that continues today. Exhibits tell of musical pioneers and legends from all racial and economic backgrounds who shared a love of music and overcame obstacles to bring their music to the world.
The Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is located at the corner of Historic Beale Street and “The Blues Highway,” Highway 61.