If music was a religion, then Memphis would be Jerusalem … Sun, Stax and Goner Records

Sun Record Company

706 Union Ave
Memphis, TN
(901) 521-0664

National Historic Landmark

“If music was a religion, then Memphis would be Jerusalem and Sun Studio its most holy shrine.”

This historic recording studio was established by Sam Phillips in February 1952. It was here that he discovered and/or recorded many of the greatest names in rock and roll, including: B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, Ike Turner, Rufus Thomas, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Charlie Rich, and Roy Orbison. Rock and roll was deeply influenced by Phillips’ work, and its advent drove profound changes in American music, society, and race relations.

1954 brought Elvis into the studios, infusing country with R & B. Soon to follow were Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins, together known as the Million Dollar Quartet.

  • Open daily from 10 AM ’til 6 PM.
  • Tours are given at the bottom half of every hour from 10:30 AM through 5:30 PM.


Stax Records

926 E. McLemore Ave.
Memphis, TN

Legendary Soul Music Studio

Great music, memorabilia and exhibits celebrate American Soul Music, and the great musicians that graced the recording studio.  Just think, Booker T and the MGs were the house band (!).  Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, Sam and Dave, Albert King … the list goes on and on.

Founded in 1957 by Jim Stewart and his sister Estelle Axton (STewart/AXton = Stax) as Satellite Records, the name Stax Records was adopted in 1961. The label was a major factor in the creation of the Southern soul and Memphis soul music styles, also releasing gospel, funk, jazz, and blues recordings.

After the death of Stax’s biggest star, Otis Redding, in 1967 and the severance of the label’s distribution deal with Atlantic Records in 1968, Stax continued to compete with Stax’s main rival, Motown Records in Detroit. A problematic distribution deal with CBS Records, resulted in its forced closure in late 1975.

The museum is housed on the former location of Stax Records. (excerpted from Wikipedia)

  • Tuesday-Saturday: 10 am–5 pm, 
Sunday: 1 pm–5 pm
  • Closed Mondays


Goner Records

2152 Young Avenue
Memphis, TN
(901) 722-0095

Elvis and Punk

Let’s just start with the quarter-operated shrine to Elvis. Then add in some punk, soul, funk and blues, then you have my kind of record store.

Goner Records is an independent record label and record store known for releasing albums by punk and garage rock bands such as the King Khan & BBQ Show and the late Jay Reatard, they also hosts Goner Fest, an annual Memphis music festival.

  • Open Noon til 7pm daily
  • 1-5 Sunday