Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Stax Museum of American Soul Music
4.5
Speciality MuseumsEducational sites
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, is a 17,000 square-foot museum offering interactive exhibits, videos, vintage musical instruments used to create the Stax sound, stage costumes, photographs, records, and approximately 3,000 other items of memorabilia that tell the unique story, from beginning to present, of American soul music, particularly that of Stax Records and the Memphis Sound.Artists highlighted include Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, the Staple Singers, the Bar-Kays, Booker T. & the MGs, Johnnie Taylor, Little Milton, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, Rufus and Carla Thomas, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Ike & Tina Turner, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and hundreds of others. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have special safety precautions in place, such as mandatory mask-wearing for all employees and guests, social distancing, no large groups, and, for now, cashless transactions only.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Nick P
    Staten Island, New York428 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Music pilgrimage site
    I went in, not knowing what to expect. Enjoyed learning how the combination of gospel, country, and blues music brought soul music to popularity. There were no racial barriers there when creating music. Powerful. The film in the beginning is excellent, then give yourself at least 90 minutes through the displays.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 July 2023
  • Jacqueline A
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awesome Experience
    Awesome Experience - There was so much to see and to read ! What I thought would be 1 to 2 hours, lasted over three hours, almost 4 hours. I highly recommended that anyone making a trip to Memphis, also make a trip to the Stax Museum ! Thank you.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 30 July 2023
  • Navigate770174
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great visit, great museum
    A soul music aficionado friend suggested that if ever in Memphis, I have to check out Stax Museum, which I wasn't aware of until then. Wow, I'm so glad I went. What a great dive into the amazing story behind this innovative music lab from the 50s and 60s that generated an incredible portfolio of hits. They don't just focus on their artists, but other influential musicians across the country, the historical context of when the art was being created, and telling a story about this very influential period for American music. Plus, their merch is awesome.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 23 August 2023
  • jw4288
    Tucson, Arizona2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    AWESOME PLACE WITH AWESOME HISTORY TO SHARE
    If you love soul music/history OR not, I still recommend you tour Stax Museum, I wasn't aware of until after we got to Memphis. Wow, I'm so glad I went. What a great view into the amazing story behind this innovative music lab from the 50s and 60s that generated an incredible portfolio of hits. They don't just focus on their artists, but other influential musicians across the country, the historical context of when the art was being created, and telling a story about this very influential period for American music. Plus, their merch is awesome. It really is an awesome place with some awesome history to share.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 28 August 2023
  • PJ
    Montgomery, Texas105 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great for Soul music buffs
    If you love American Soul music, Southern or Memphis style, then this is the place for you. Not a large museum but full of history and artifacts. And they did a nice job restoring the recording studio back to its original luster.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 14 September 2023
  • abroadwithashley
    Minneapolis, Minnesota1,724 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    History of Soul Music
    Great fun and highly recommended for anyone who loves music or the history of music in Memphis (or just music). Unlike Sun Studios, which maintains its original look without interference, STAX is a “newer” museum. This is not a knock against the museum, but just a comparison point. There’s tons of memorabilia and it’s fantastic to stand where so many greats stood. Can’t miss this if you’re in Memphis.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 October 2023
  • MAP12
    New Orleans, Louisiana632 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well put together museum, glad we got there.
    We were told about this by our friends who live in Memphis. It was worth going to and well done. Wouldn't put it as a "top spot" in Memphis, but I'd been to all those places, so was looking for something new to see there.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 10 October 2023
  • Patricia_Luz_Moreira
    Sao Roque, SP217 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Learning about soul music makes my happy soul!
    Amazing experience to learn more about soul music. I was always curious to learn more about how soul music was born and to get the chance to visit such a place was really a blessing. So much talent, so much joy and soul. A really must go place when visiting Memphis
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 October 2023
  • PHILIP R
    47 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Memphis isn't all Rock 'n Roll'!!
    On our second day in Memphis our first stop was taking in the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Again, this is a place easy to get to by bus, but a very long walk from the Downtown area. A self guided tour about the history of Stax and it's many artists, including Otis Redding, Booker T and the Mgs, William Bell, Rufus Thomas and countless others. Even if you're not really into soul music this place is definitely worth a visit.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 November 2023
  • Stevedanna
    La Mesa, California15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of our favorite things on our visit to Memphis
    My wife and I would strongly recommend visiting this special museum on sacred musical ground. We absolutely loved it. It’s not just about Stax or soul music. It’s about music and culture. The displays and information are wonderful. We liked it much more than Graceland. Plan on being there for a while if you really want to take it in.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 November 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,207 reviews
Excellent
1,522
Very good
547
Average
111
Poor
22
Terrible
5

Cubsfan1945
Mount Pleasant, SC229 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
The staff takes pride in what they do and the museum is an interesting place with lots of information about soul music and the people who made it happen. Tour is self-guided and takes about 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Parking was not a problem. We enjoyed it.
Written 11 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hrobinson1114
Nashville, TN5,809 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Solo
As I began on my review of the Memphis Museum of Rock n Soul, there are several museums that are fairly similar or overlap in content matter and style. The Rock n Soul Museum and Stax are similar, but just different enough that both are worth your time.

While the museum of Rock n Soul is more generalized, Stax is very in-depth about the Stax music company and its history/stars.

While the museum of Rock n Soul peppers in a little Elvis and some early pioneers, while also discussing Stax artists like Isaac Hayes, the Stax museum tells a story.

This museum starts with a film, which helps inform, summarize, and set the mood. Then you start with the first stars on the label and how the label was founded, and make your way through the label’s history. You learn about lesser known, yet pivotal acts that influenced the entire music scene. You learn about the big acts, like Ike and Tina Turner and Isaac Hayes.

There are two things I really loved: one is that this museum is in the actual studio and soundstage of Stax. There are actual artifacts, such as records and mixing boards and instruments from the building’s use at that time. Secondly, I really loved how the museum integrated social justice and black rights into the mix.

Stax wasn’t just a music label—it was seen as progressive at the time. Black and white artists usually got along and collaborated, and eventually Stax had integrated ownership. And when the civil rights movement became prominent, it strained those relationships, especially as black artists and executives became part of the movement and began to speak up on civil rights.

As compared to the museum of Rock n Soul, this museum gets deeper into issues I find interesting and important, rather than glossing over things.

There is a lot, A LOT, of reading to accompany the music and videos. So much that after a while I chose to take some photos of some plaques to read later. But that doesn’t take away from the experience.

They also have rotating exhibits at the end of the main part of the museum. Plus, you get to see Isaac Hayes’s 24 karat gold plated Cadillac!

If you can do this, the rock n soul museum, and the blues hall of fame (which only takes a short amount of time, also reviewed separately), then see them all.

If you have to choose one, do Stax.
Written 22 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jw4288
Tucson, AZ2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
If you love soul music/history OR not, I still recommend you tour Stax Museum, I wasn't aware of until after we got to Memphis. Wow, I'm so glad I went. What a great view into the amazing story behind this innovative music lab from the 50s and 60s that generated an incredible portfolio of hits. They don't just focus on their artists, but other influential musicians across the country, the historical context of when the art was being created, and telling a story about this very influential period for American music. Plus, their merch is awesome. It really is an awesome place with some awesome history to share.
Written 28 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rdsm77
Tucson, AZ393 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
It does not seem to be in a nice part of town. They had a security guard in the parking lot and another sitting out front. Plenty of parking though. First there was a 20 minute film. Then a self guided tour through the exhibits with music playing all over the place and videos from Soul Train. The staff was very nice. Neat stuff in the gift shop.
Written 8 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

beachsideguy99
Melbourne400 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
Only $12 for seniors, a thorough history of black and white united by soul music recorded at Stax from 1960 (formerly Satellite from 1957) Records and the brotherhood between musicians. The full history - Jerry Wexler (Atlantic) distribution deal 1960. Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, The Mar-Keys, Booker T etc 1962 chauffer Otis Redding sings and becomes the biggest star. Stax concert in LA 1965 tainted by Watts riots and European tour 1967…then Otis at Monterey and plane crash that year.
In 1967 Warner Bros buys Atlantic and acquires all Stax rights, and took back Sam and Dave who had been ‘on loan’ to Stax since 1960.
Written 28 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tom B
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
The purveyors of this historic facility have preserved and enhanced it perfectly. Very honest presentation of the ups and downs of the company, the city, and the music business at the time. Whoever wrote the info cards was knowledgeable and fair.
Written 1 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tami & Dan
Walnut Creek, CA66 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
Stax has grittier music than Motown, in general. The Four Tops didn’t sound the same as Isaac Hayes.
This museum does a great job of telling you the history of the label, how it lost everything, and how it came back. Lots of interesting displays and not so long as to become boring. If you like soul music from the latter sixties to the latter seventies, this will remind you of how great it was/is.
Written 18 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wanderwoman93
Oregon110 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
The Stax Museum and Sun Studios are like two ends of a spectrum - Sun is small and authentic, Stax is huge and recreated. Music lovers should make time for both. Stax walks through in much more depth the confluence of factors that lead to the rise of soul music (with its roots in church music and country) and the many artists who passed through Stax. The museum is expansive beyond the events just tied to Stax (though Stax has many) to talk more broadly about the influence of soul music on many others (e.g., Jackson 5, Tina Turner). It's a worthy exploration.
Written 14 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jennifera399
Reading, Pennsylvania, United States170 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
Reasonable, affordable, and informative. This museum gives a broad history of a variety of musicians, and you can see Issac Hayes Cadillac. Gift Shop is reasonable with a selection of music that may not be found in other parts of the country.
Written 3 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ed P
columbus, ohio46 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
Very friendly staff greeted us and had my name down as I had pre-purchased our tickets. Terrific and important short film about Soul Music and its contributions to life as we know it. A lot of wonderful history is on display. The reproduction of the original studio right down to the sloping floor was a high point for me. A shame it's not being used as a working studio now though. Anyplace that has Isaac Hayes' Eldorado on a spinning turntable is a must see.
Written 8 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Stax Museum of American Soul Music (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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