Memphis Rock n' Soul Museum
Rock N' Soul Museum © Thomas R Machnitzki
A collection of rare recordings, vintage films and musician interviews along with photographs, and interactive exhibits makes up the 'Social Crossroads' exhibition put together by the Smithsonian Institution. The museum is located on the corner of the legendary Highway 61, otherwise know as the Blues Highway, and the equally famous Beale Street, home of urban jazz and blues.
The exhibition fills seven galleries and covers the development of American popular music over the past century, from gospel to blues and rock, with exhibits such as costumes and guitars from performers like Elvis Presley, Ike Turner's piano and B.B. King's 'Lucille' guitar. Each of the seven galleries has a specific focus - rural culture, rural music, coming to Memphis, Sun Records and youth culture, soul music, social changes, and the bravo gallery, focused on the performers and other music industry players who contributed to a successful civil rights movement.
The time covered by the exhibition reaches from the start of blues and rock in the 1930's with rural field hollers and sharecroppers, all the way to the present day and the continuing influence these genres have on the whole world, both musically and culturally. An audio guide is available and takes visitors on a tour of the music that was the biggest influence on culture and lifestyle in the 20th century.
Address: FedEx Forum Plaza, 191 Beale Street