Stax Museum of American Soul
Student groups exploring the best of Memphis won’t want to miss a visit to this fabulous Tennessee attraction! Founded on McLemore Avenue as Satellite Records in 1957, Memphis-based Stax records went bankrupt in 1976; the legendary studio and label that signed young musical phenomenon Otis Redding and released his first single and debut album were sold and allowed to deteriorate so badly it was torn down in 1989.
Today, Stax Museum of American Soul Music is an exact replica of the original Satellite/Stax Studio – a 17,000-square-foot museum showcasing thousands of videos, films, photographs, original instruments, stage costumes, interactive displays and other artifacts, with featured exhibits including an authentic 101-year-old Mississippi Delta church, Isaac Hayes' 1972 gold-trimmed, peacock-blue Cadillac El Dorado, the Soul Train dance floor and a gallery of special exhibits that change throughout the year.
One of a mere handful of museums on the planet solely dedicated to the the world of soul music, Stax not only celebrates the rich legacy of Stax Records and its artists such as Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and Albert King but features other soul music labels such as Motown, Atlantic Records, and Muscle Shoals, as well, and visitors are treated to vintage video footage of greats like Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Ike & Tina Turner. Once you’ve toured Stax, you will likely feel a call to partake of some authentic Memphis-style eats to round out your classic “Soul” experience; a few wonderful eateries are conveniently situated nearby , among them the Four Way Restaurant, a cherished “Soulsville, USA” institution and icon where civil rights leaders – including Martin Luther King, Jr., political figures, industry bigwigs, ordinary folk from the neighborhood and hungry tourists, alike, have enjoyed the finger-licking menu of hearty home-style favorites like fried or baked catfish and chicken, yams, okra, greens, fried green tomatoes, homemade-daily turkey and dressing, pinto beans, sweet potato pie, lemon meringue pie and peach cobbler for nearly 75 years!