Memphis Motown--Stax Museum of American Soul Music and Sun Records Rock & Roll

Jan 31, 2018

Stax Museum in Memphis, Tennessee
Credit Thomas Wilmer

Tim Sampson Communications Director for the Soulsville Foundation talks about the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the genesis of “Soulsville”, the astounding Stax Music Academy, and Soulsville Charter School. Tiffany Harmon shares the story of Rock & Roll birthplace at Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee.

Tim Sampson at Soulsville Stax Records Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.
Credit Tom Wilmer

Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Albert King, Rufus and Carla Thomas, and Booker T. & the M.G.s came to cut their records at Stax.

Over a 16 year period Stax placed 167 hit songs in the Top 100 on the pop charts, and 243 hits in the top 100 R&B charts. 

It was Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats’ “Rocket 88” Sun Records recording in 1951 that goes down in history as the first Rock & Roll single.

Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee
Credit Thomas Wilmer

A litany of legends came to Sun Studio to record and make music history—cats like Howlin’ Wolf, James Cotton, B.B. King and Johnny Cash.

Sun Studio is the place where Elvis recorded his first single “That’s All Right” in 1954. And Sun is still recording music, in the same location today, in the same studio, using lots of the original tube-technology equipment.

Tiffany Harmon at Sun Studios Memphis, Tennessee
Credit Thomas Wilmer

“If music was a religion then Memphis would be Jerusalem and Sun Studio its most holy shrine.”

Historic WHBQ control room at Sun Records Memphis, Tennessee
Credit Thomas Wilmer