Stax Museum prepares for 20 year anniversary in 2023

Stax Museum prepares for 20 year anniversary in 2023
Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 6:21 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A museum that honors one of the most influential music companies in Memphis and American history will turn 20 next year.

The Stax Museum of American Soul Music will celebrate its anniversary in 2023 with a jam-packed calendar to mark the momentous occasion.

The museum held a kick-off event Wednesday afternoon featuring well-known Stax recording artist alum Booker T. Jones.

Sixty years ago, Booker T was a part of a group of young kids from the neighborhood playing hooky from church and stumbled upon a classic.

“On Sunday morning, normally, we would be in church,” said Jones.

“That was quite a different thing to not be in church on Sunday morning at 10 o’clock, but they did have some free time here, and we were scheduled for a session, and we got some free studio time, so we recorded a couple of ideas,” said Jones.

“Green Onions” was created from that impromptu session, a song that can be found on just about any greatest songs of all-time list.

Wednesday afternoon Jones came back to where it all started, and this time he was backed up by the next generation of great musicians.

“The city gives a nurturing and a teaching and an expectation and so many things,” said Jones. “So I’m a product of that. I should say I’m a beneficiary of that,” said Jones.

That’s what happens here every day at Stax Museum and the Academy next door, honoring the American Soul music past while preparing for the future,

and next year will mark 20 years of doing just that.

“A lot of people, when they find out it’s the 20th year, they go wait. What? It’s 20 years already? It’s going to be exciting in this place because we have a lot of activities,” said Soulsville CEO Pat Mitchell Worley.

There will be monthly public events in 2023, including a gala, a concert series with nationally touring artists, and a year of free field trips for MSCS students.

There will also be new, never before seen exhibits.

Guests Wednesday got a sneak peek of what’s to come.

The museum showed off a hot pink suit worn by the world’s oldest Teenager Rufus Thomas and overalls Otis Redding wore during a video he shot with Carla Thomas.

It all helps to tell the incredible Stax story that not only changed Memphis history but music across the globe.

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