In recognition of the draw that the music of Memphis has for travellers, Memphis Tourism has this week launched a dedicated Music Hub, designed to help visitors find their perfect music experience. And since no trip to Memphis would be complete without experiencing at least one aspect of the city’s great music history, below is a helpful list of essential experiences for music lovers:
Visit a historic recording studio
Memphis’ music legacy is iconic, so it makes sense that the city has more recording studios than almost any other. The world famous Stax Records and Sun Studio are both crucial fixtures in the formation and history of American music, and both are open to the public. Visitors to Sun Studio can take part in a guided tour every hour, and for those who prefer to peruse alone, Stax Museum of American Soul Music offers a comprehensive self-guided tour.
Pick up some local music on vinyl
Hardcore music lovers have never lost their affinity for vinyl, but now that everyday music fans are again appreciating the joy of vinyl’s distinctive sound, sales are on the rise. Memphis music stores including Shangri-La, Goner Records, and Audiomadia Records all have sections dedicated not just to vinyl, but solely to Memphis music – which could see you find the best souvenir ever.
Dine at a musically historical venue
You may still want to wait in line to eat at the diner which Elvis frequented (The Arcade Restaurant), but if you make your way to Catherine & Mary’s in Downtown Memphis, you’ll be dining on elevated Southern American and traditional Italian cuisine at the site of the former home of the Red, Hot, & Blue radio show. Historically significant, the radio show was the first to play music from both black and white artists in a segregated Memphis, and also marks the site of Elvis’ very first professional interview.
Stay at the Central Station Hotel
With more than 3,500 vinyl records in the lobby – all with a Memphis connection, and a DJ playing Memphis themed playlists every night of the week (which can be listened to in every room), the Central Station Hotel is the perfect sleep stop for music lovers.
Take in some live music
Start at the bars, pubs, and clubs of tourist hotspot of historic Beale Street, and then wander wherever your ears take you – and it won’t be far. Memphis is home to an abundance of live music venues, festivals, and listening rooms that means whatever live music experience you’re looking for – you’ll find it.
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