The music from Memphis has made such a profound impact in the music world that it has been the reason that the city of Memphis has earned such nicknames as Home of the Blues The Birthplace of Soul, The Home of Rock and Roll, and Soulsville, USA. The musical influence in Memphis has always been thick, rich, heart felt, and varied. Beginning with jug bands and Bluegrass, music from Memphis would become a permanent presence in the music world.
When WWII had come to an end, music from Memphis began to see the use of electronic instruments. Many musicians from all over the country came to Memphis with these electric instruments, changing the sound of Memphis blues. The musicians would gather on Beale Street, where there were recording studios up and down. These early musicians would record some of the first music from Memphis that was classic blues, rhythm and blues, and rock & roll records. Once of the most famous of these studios was Sun Records, who would record the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley, among many others.
It began in the early 1900s when jug bands played on the streets of the city, the center being once again Beale Street. Using homemade, simple instruments like the banjo, guitar, and a jug of course for the bass, music from Memphis erupted on the streets and branched into what we know today as the Blues. The Blues is music that is full of catchy rhythms and lyrics about life, work, and faith.
The music from Memphis known as Soul began in the little neighborhoods around Memphis. These neighborhoods became known as Soulsville, USA. In the late 1950s the genre of music was born that was to become Memphis Soul music. Soul is a style of music that combines R&B music with Gospel music. It has been said that Memphis Soul Music is similar to Gospel in almost every way except one. The only difference between the two is the substitution of the word Lord in Gospel to the word Baby in Soul.
The catchy, new, unique blend of R&B and Gospel quickly spread through the African American communities in Chicago, Philadelphia, Memphis, and Detroit. Memphis Soul music was most heavily influenced by gospel, however, more so than in the other cities. The unique sound of Memphis Soul music that resulted from such a thick Gospel influence was described as unpolished and raw. Up North, the sound had been more polished and smooth. Music from Memphis was gritty and raspy, which is what has made music from Memphis the most loved and time honored music in the country.
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