How much talent can you cram into a square mile?
In the 1960s, there were two places to get that sweet soul sound. You could go to Hitsville (aka Detroit, Mich.) for the pop girl-meets-boy sounds of Motown, or you could go to Soulsville (in Memphis) for emotional, girl-breaks-boy’s-heart tracks.
When I visited the Stax Museum of American Soul Music a few months ago, I was struck by how much amazing talent was born within a mile of the legendary studio. Booker T. Jones, Memphis Slim, Memphis Minnie and Aretha Franklin were all born in the neighborhood now known as Soulsville.
This small brown house at 406 Lucy was the birthplace of legendary soul diva Aretha Franklin. It’s empty now and needs some love and attention. I’m not sure who owns the house now, but I really hope they do something with it soon.
Other residents of the neighborhood included Rev. Herbert Brewster, Maurice White and the Hi Records studio. That’s a serious amount of musical talent packed into a very small part of town.
Sample some of that talent: