Memphis is a name no American music lover can forgo. This musical city is in the south-west Tennessee by the Mississippi river. It is much famous for being the birth place of music genres like blues, soul music, rock n roll, jazz and rap, hip hop, and R&B distinct to Memphis. Its music is inspiration and also home to many legendary artists like Elvis Presley, B.B. King and Johnny Cash.
The origin of music in Memphis dates back to the formation of the city itself. At the beginning of the 19th century, Memphis emerged as a city and became the cross-section of commerce and culture among the African and American society. The emotions, culture and music were passed on from generations of black slaves to the next generation of free people.
It became the foundation and inspiration for the music genre blues. The “Father of the Blues” W.C. Handy is often said to have brought his band to Memphis in 1909. They played this style of music in the clubs on the Beale Street.
Memphis has a long history of nurturing and transformation of traditional music like classical, country and gospel music to many of the American music styles that we know of today.
A Brief History
After performances of Handy, the blues reigned in the Beale Street. The introduction of the electric guitar in 1945 (after World War II) the rock ‘n’ roll was discovered. There are three landmarks of Memphis city that contributed a lot to the musical history and influence of the country. They are the Blues Hall of Fame, Rock and Soul Museum, and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Many legends and famous musicians like Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and others recorded tracks in the famous studios of Memphis.
- Elvis Presley – He came and settled down to Memphis at the age of 13. He was initially a country music and R&B singer. However, then he improvised and developed a completely new genre of music-rock ‘n’ roll. Elvis Presley brought this music to the world arena.
- B. B. King – B. B. King was a renowned blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. He made critical contribution to the development of Memphis blues and the electric blues era.
- Isaac Hayes – He had expertise in Southern soul music and was one of the famous artists at the work of Stax Records.
- Johnny Cash – He had fame in blues, rock n roll, gospel and even in folk music.
Musical Places to Visit in Memphis
If you ever visit Memphis you would not want to miss few places to visit. Get a look and taste of Memphis music through We Are Memphis, where you can get updated on the music and all other happenings around the city starting from music events, new artists, thriving businesses and much more.
Finally, do not forget to visit-
- Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
- Stax Museum of American Soul Music.
- Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.
- Lafayette’s Music Room.
- Minglewood Hall.
- Orpheum Theatre.