Sun Studio/Stax Museum, Memphis
www.sunstudio.com / http://staxmuseum.com
Memphis was home to two of the most influential
record labels in the mid-20th century: Sam Phillips’
Sun Records, which discovered Elvis Presley, and
Stax Records, which introduced the U.S. to soul artists like Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes. Sun Studio
is still a real recording studio; in addition to a tour,
planners can also arrange for small groups to record
a song as a souvenir.
The history of Stax Records forms the heart of
Stax Museum of American Soul Music, along with
exhibits like an actual, reconstructed country
church on the grounds, plus a recreated studio from
the Stax era and the Express Yourself dance floor
where attendees can lay down their best moves.
Both are essential sites to Memphis and the world,
according to Caroline Stanfield, public relations
specialist for the Memphis CVB.
“Stax Museum of American Soul Music tells the
story of why Memphis is the home of the blues and
soul,” she says. “Sun Studio is where rock n’ roll was
born, and you can’t have rock n’ roll without Elvis
Presley and Graceland.”
There’s no denying that Tennessee is a towering legend of musical heritage. From echoing hills to city streets, this state has grown much of the country’s most popular music, including
country, bluegrass, rock, roots and more. While
Memphis and Nashville receive the lion’s share of
attention, there are also top historic sites and music
venues in Knoxville, Pigeon Forge, Chattanooga and
Bristol as well, and all will get attendees’ toes tapping.
Grand Ole Opry/Ryman Auditorium, Nashville
Nashville’s roots as a country music city run deep, and they start with the famed
Grand Ole Opry. The genesis of the Opry was a radio show in 1925, and the Opry soon
became the spotlight in which hundreds of careers were launched, including Minnie
Pearl, Loretta Lynn, The Gatlin Brothers, Little Jimmy Dickens and Barbara Mandrell.
Now recognized as the world’s longest running radio show, the Opry still goes
out on the airwaves and groups can watch a show at the Opry House or the historic
Ryman Auditorium, which was the home to the Opry during the heyday of 1940s radio.
Planners can also arrange backstage tours of the facilities or rent the venue itself for a
meeting, dinner or reception.
DOLLYWOOD, PIGEON FORGE STAX MUSEUM OF AMERICAN SOUL MUSIC, MEMPHIS
By Beth Bartlett Musical attractions take center stage throughout Tennessee