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“Fantastic” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Stax Museum of American Soul Music
926 E. McLemore Ave, Memphis, TN 38106
901-942-7685
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Top Rated
$78*
and up
Memphis Music Attraction Discount Pass
Ranked #5 of 172 things to do in Memphis
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, located at the original site of Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee at 926 E. McLemore Avenue, is a 17,000 square-foot museum offering interactive exhibits, videos, vintage musical instruments used to create the Stax sound, stage costumes, photographs, records, and approximately 3,000 other items of memorabilia that tell the unique story, from beginning to present, of American soul music, particularly that of Stax Records and the Memphis Sound.Artists highlighted include Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, the Staple Singers, the Bar-Kays, Booker T. & the MGs, Johnnie Taylor, Little Milton, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, Rufus and Carla Thomas, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Ike & Tina Turner, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and hundreds of others.
SCARBOROUGH
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

The whole experience is a must for any music fan. The museum is well laid out and very interesting.

Great store for that must have momento of your visit

Plenty of free parking behind the museum.

Fantastic so don't miss it if you are visiting Memphis

Visited April 2013
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Asheville, NC
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Music History!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

Best Music I heard the whole time in Memphis! Isaac Hayes car awesome! If Beale street was anything like this it would be more fun than the drunken poor music scene with panhandlers hitting you up every step.

Visited April 2013
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manchester
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Brilliant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013 via mobile

Brilliant venue really well done. Learned a lot about soul music and enjoyed the exhibits. The staff were really friendly . A 'must visit' when in Memphis.

Visited April 2013
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
36 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

Spent about 2 hours walking round, listening to music and reading about how soul music came about. Would definitely recommend a visit here if your interested in soul music

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Cambridge, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Great tunes, great staff, not so great organization”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

As a big fan of the Stax recordings and other soul music from that era, I loved this place. There's a lot going for it, namely:

1. You're surrounded by GREAT music.
2. A very friendly staff.
3. A gift shop with some real class. Excellent design on T-shirts, etc., unlike the tacky stuff you see in so many other museums.
4. A reasonable price
5. An excellent reconstruction of the Stax studio space.
6. It's very, very cool to pull up to the museum and see an active music academy built right next to it.

That said, it is very hard for a non-fan to navigate. The museum is broken into a few sections (roots, first Stax era, recording studio, second Stax era), but otherwise provides little narrative guidance for people new to the story. While it's great to see all the artists get their due, a visitor could leave not really understanding the impact of, say, Booker T. Jones, on the last 50 years of American music.

It was also a LOT of reading in small type. I found one display where a stage costume obscured whole paragraphs of type. And the information appears to have not been updated since the museum opened 10 years ago. James Brown, for example, is apparently still alive.

tl;dr - Great museum, but read up on Stax first to understand the real story/significance of what you're seeing.

Visited April 2013
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