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Music History in Memphis

Music History in Memphis

When it comes to music history, few cities can rival Memphis, Tennessee. Also known as Soulville, USA, Memphis is home to The King's Graceland and the birthplace of the blues, soul, and rock 'n' roll. Here are some of the city's top music sites.


You can't come to Memphis without paying a visit to Graceland, the quirky home of Elvis Presley. In addition to exploring the Graceland mansion, you can get an in-depth look at Presley's life through a variety of exhibits, including one featuring his extensive car collection, another covering his comeback performances in Las Vegas, and one on his love for Hawaii.

Beale Street Historic District

The heart and soul of Memphis' live music scene lies on Beale Street. The clubs and restaurants lining this historic district have played host to legends B.B. King, Louis Armstrong, and Muddy Waters.

Memphis Rock N' Soul Museum

Pay a visit to the Memphis Rock N' Soul Museum for a comprehensive overview of the city's storied music history. Just off Beale Street, the museum features seven galleries and three audio-visual elements that tell of the development of rock and soul in Memphis.

Sun Studio

Sun Studio, known as the birthplace of rock 'n' roll, was where Elvis, B.B. King, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded some of their first tracks to launch their music careers. Today, the humble studio is a museum and national historic landmark offering tours every half hour.

Memphis Music Hall of Fame

A sister site to the Memphis Rock N' Soul Museum, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame pays tribute to the city's many influential native sons, including Elvis Presley, Isaac Hayes, and Justin Timberlake.

Gibson Guitar Factory

Set on Beale Street, the Gibson Guitar Factory is where some of the world's finest guitars are crafted. Tour the facility to see the process firsthand, from binding to tuning.

Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Housed in the former home of Stax Records, where Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, and Isaac Hayes once recorded, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music traces the history of this important house of music.

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Memphis Discovery Tour

Memphis Discovery Tour

Explore downtown Memphis on this all-inclusive tour. Visit the Smithsonian’s Rock N' Soul Museum along with top attractions such as Beale Street, known as the home of the blues, and Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. A barbecue tasting and trip to the Peabody Hotel's March of the Ducks, a much-loved Memphis tradition, are also included.
  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation