Simply put, Memphis epitomizes music. Memphis is the home of major musical pioneers in many different genres. Memphis is largely known for its own style of specific musical genres. Memphis style blues, soul, gospel, rock n’ roll, crunk, and country music can often be identified by their own twists. Memphis is also highly accredited as a musical city because of the countless musicians who launched their musical careers in the city. Singers like Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Otis Redding, and B.B. King all got their start in their now irreplaceable musical careers while performing in Memphis.
Beale Street is a famous national historical landmark in Memphis because of its musical involvement. The street proves Memphis’ impact on blues music, particularly in the mid-1940s during World War II. The electric guitar became popular throughout that time, and Memphis had a large part in the history of the instrument. Sam Phillips’ Sun Studio, also located on Beale Street, is one of the most influential musical studios in the world. The studio is still open in the city, though it is now used for tours. Elvis, Cash, and Roy Orbison all recorded their first songs and albums in this studio.
Stax Records also contributes heavily to Memphis’ musical reputation. Stax Records is a record label based out of Memphis that is often cited as one of the most vital factors in the creation of soul music like gospel, funk, jazz, and blues. Besides its successful representation of some of the most famous soul musicians, the record label was also known for its racial integration — a completely controversial move in the 1960s. Stax Records not only featured racially integrated bands like Booker T. & the M.G.’s, but the staff itself were diverse.
Today, Memphis is still highly acknowledged for its continual contribution to the music scene.