On a recent trip to Memphis, TN, in the heart of the American South, I had the opportunity to visit the Stax Musuem of American Soul Music. Stax Records rose from the strong blues traditions of Memphis to become one the most influential studios in music history, and with recording artists including Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and Booker T and the MGs, develop the Southern Soul sound. While the Motown Sound is known for its smooth horns and vocal arrangements, the Stax records sound is gritty and soulful, often driven by the Hammond keyboard of Booker T Jones. Visitors are treated to the history of Stax records along with the development of soul music as they enter the museum through an authentic, century-old church from the Mississippi Delta, displaying the African-American gospel origins of the music movement.

Stax Studio