Memphis music has always had roots in the gospel tradition. From iconic artists including The Staple Singers, Al Green and Elvis Presley, to the genres they helped define (including rock 'n' roll and soul), gospel has long been a source of inspiration behind Memphis' music scene.
Gospel didn't just play a role in influencing Memphis music, though. Memphis also produced legendary singers in the genre, including Lucie E. Campbell, Elizabeth King and Casietta George. King's style of gospel closely resembled soul music and that "Memphis Sound." Campbell was a gospel singer and educator well known for publishing over 100 gospel songs, many of which were covered by other musicians.
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
Tour the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, which nods to some of gospel’s original ambassadors: Rev. Herbert Brewster, Lucie Campbell and Cassietta George.
Drive 9 minutes
Stax Museum of American Soul Music
Walk through a life-size church, relocated from the Mississippi Delta, inside the Stax Museum. The gospel exhibit embodies how the genre influenced Memphis musicians and, ultimately, soul music.
Drive 20 minutes
Full Gospel Tabernacle Church
Hear a sermon – and a joyful noise – at the church led by soul legend Reverend Al Green.
Explore the people, stories and places behind the bollard art outside FedExForum. Use this slider to sneak a peek at everything gospel-related, from the art itself to local points of interest.