Stax Museum of American Soul Music
The story of Stax Records is one of a cultural phenomenon that changed the culture of music forever - locally, nationally, and internationally.
The success of Stax was perhaps, as Steve Cropper, who worked at the museum until his departure in the early '70s, has said, 'an accident. Many factors were involved with the success of Stax.' What began as a tiny record store in an old movie theater at the corner of McLemore Avenue and College Street in Memphis, Tennessee, grew to become one of the most important music recording studios in the world.
When the modest Capitol Theater in the heart of Soulsville USA was transformed into Stax Records in 1959, it began launching the careers of unknowns who would become icons, cranking out a massive catalog of smash soul hits by the likes of Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, the Staple Singers, Wilson Pickett, Luther Ingram, Albert King, the Bar-Kays, Booker T. & the MG's, Johnnie Taylor, Rufus and Carla Thomas, and dozens of other artists whose influence remains vital in the music of today. On its many and varied labels, Stax Records also recorded such legends as Big Star, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Bill Cosby, Moms Mabley, and the Grammy-winning comedic genius Richard Pryor.
Today, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, located at the original site of Stax Records, pays tribute to all of the artists who recorded there with a rare and amazing collection of more than 2,000 interactive exhibits, films, artifacts, items of memorabilia, and galleries designed to keep Stax alive forever. Because it is the only soul music museum in the world, it also spotlights America's other major soul music pioneers, including the sounds of Muscle Shoals, Motown, Hi, and Atlantic Records, spotlighting the contributions of such soul pioneers as Ike & Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, The Jackson Five, Ann Peebles, Al Green, Sam Cooke, James Brown, Ray Charles, and many others.