From B.B. King to Otis Redding, Memphis musicians have captured the hearts and souls of fans around the world.
In 1967, California's Monterey Pop Festival crowd was awed by Redding, backed by Booker T. & The MG's. Later that same year, the Stax/Volt revue toured Europe and musicians including Redding, Sam & Dave, Arthur Conley and others made Memphis a household name across the continent.
In 1972, Wattstax, a benefit concert in Watts, Los Angeles, to commemorate the 7th anniversary of the Watts riots, was a giant success for the Stax label. 112,000 people attended, mostly Black people from Watts and L.A. The concert ticket price was $1. Performers included Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Rance Allen, The Bar-Kays, David Porter, Albert King and others.
WHERE TO GO NEXT
All points of interest below are mapped from the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, just steps from the bollards and FedExForum.
Walk 5 minutes
Memphis Music Hall of Fame
Head down Beale to the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. Highlighting legends in rock, rap, soul, blues and jazz, the attraction pays tribute to the Memphis musicians who became some of the world’s most shining talents.
Drive 9 minutes
Stax Museum of American Soul Music
From the studio’s frenetic European tour to the Wattstax benefit concert at the Los Angeles Coliseum, discover how Stax artists ignited a global soul music explosion.
Walk 2 minutes
International Blues Challenge
Each year, blues musicians from around the world travel to Memphis to compete in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge. Listen up in the clubs and bars along Beale Street each January. In the meantime, tour the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame to learn about the genre’s heavy-hitters.
Explore the people, stories and places behind the bollard art outside FedExForum. Use this slider to sneak a peek at everything soul-, funk- and R&B-related, from the art itself to local points of interest.