This is the second article in a series that highlights places to visit while in Memphis for the IBC. Jimmi Langemo of Jimmi and the Band of Souls used to spend 12 to 15 weeks of the year in Memphis doing diversity and leadership development work.
The second place I recommend you visit is the STAX Museum. When I used to tell people I was going to take them to the STAX Museum, they would often express disinterest. When I told them that this was the recording home of Otis Redding, Booker T and the MGs and the Staple Singers, they would thank me for the trivia, but still be disinterested. However, after their visit they would always say it was an incredibly moving experience. So, if your first response to seeing the STAX Museum as the second place to go was disinterest, I strongly suggest you reconsider your point-of-view. You will not be disappointed in your visit. You’ll emerge inspired and rejuvenated.
When you visit the STAX Museum, you will get immersed in the beginnings of R&B. The first exhibit you walk through is a real country church that has been moved into the STAX building. As you continue through the museum, you get more information on the evolution of American music and the history of our fight for civil rights. By the time you get to the founding of STAX, you understand the context in which the studio was living. I love how the museum really tells a story. They do a great job of weaving individual biographies, the history of STAX, the evolution of music and the politics of the day into one story arc.
One other reason to go: STAX has the best gift shop in town. No joke.
It takes between 90 minutes and two hours to walk through the museum.
For more information, go to http://www.staxmuseum.com/
- If you’re hungry and want to keep the learning going, eat at the Fourway. It’s not too far from STAX. Many civil rights leaders used to eat here, including D. Martin Luther King, Jr. The menu is real deal soul food. For more info go to http://fourwaymemphis.com/
- Memphis Slim’s house is right across the street from the museum. Make sure you check it out.