The south is home to more than just a few amazing music towns like Austin, Nashville, Atlanta, New Orleans, but there’s nothing quite like Memphis. Beale Street has been dubbed the official “Home of the Blues,” and legends like B.B. King, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Otis Redding, Booker T and the MG’s, and Isaac Hayes all hail from here. Even more modern artists like Justin Timberlake and Juicy J are keeping the hometown Memphis tradition alive. The blues, soul, and rock n’ roll - Memphis has it all in spades.
And then there’s Stax Records, which is in a class of its own. The once movie-theater-turned-legendary-recording-studio has been the springboard for some of the biggest names in soul music, and the Stax Records Museum is a must-visit for Memphis newbies and returning fans alike.
A city so entrenched with music history, where you see the faces of legends on wall murals and can hear live music in the streets, deserves more than just a list of local recs of where to go and what to see - we’re making you a playlist. Because what better way to get a real sense of a city than to hear the very roots of its music scene? And we’re going way back to old school blues right up to pop hits.
Check out our public Spotify playlist specially curated for YOU, our amazing guests who are heading to this mecca of music - or are already walking those streets and just want to soak in the local rhythm. Click here to listen!
And just for good measure, we are indeed adding a few of our favorite places to experience the best in the Memphis music scene:
Beale Street - make this your first stop for full music saturation. Sure, it’s a little touristy, but there’s plenty of live music options while wafts of barbeque fill the air. It’s a beautiful thing.
Blues Hall of Fame - with some of the best in-depth exhibits and room after room of memorabilia, this is a great stop for both hardcore fans and general visitors.
Lafayette’s Music Room - an indoor/outdoor bar with live music seven nights a week and food, to boot. We love Lafayette’s.
Memphis Music Hall of Fame - all things Memphis music icons with interactive exhibits, rare performance footage - and located right on Beale Street.
Paula & Raiford’s Disco - This place is the real deal, folks. After a day of soaking up some of the richest music history in the nation, feel the rhythm, bust loose on lit-up dance floor and get your groove on.
Rock n’ Soul Museum - also located on Beale Street, this museum tells the story of Memphis’ pioneers overcoming obstacles to create music that changed the world.
Stax Museum - this amazing museum has its own dance floor, enough said. A must-visit for music buffs.
The Arcade Restaurant - Elvis lives on at Memphis’ oldest restaurant - order up a Fried Peanut Butter Banana Sandwich and make sure to snap a pic at the King’s old booth.
Want to double down on your Memphis music experience? Check out our Memphis in May blog post and start planning.
If Memphis has been on your bucket list - we have a home-away-from-home for you. Actually we have four:
- Stay Alfred on 4th Street - located in The Core neighborhood
- Stay Alfred on Madison Avenue - located in The Core neighborhood
- Stay Afred at Chisca - located in the South Main neighborhood
- Stay Alfred on South Front Street - located in the South Main neighborhood
Share all those amazing Memphis music moments with #stayalfred.