In the late 1950s a 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. The only difference between the two would be to replace the word Lord in Gospel to the word Baby and its all Soul from there.
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. The unique sound of Memphis Soul music was described as unpolished and raw. Up North, the sound had been more polished and smooth. Memphis was gritty and raspy.
Memphis Soul music gradually spread through Beale Street to Sun Studio, where both Black people and White people worked together to make and record the music. Just south of the Downtown Memphis area is where the deep hearted Memphis Soul music continued, giving the area the name Soulville, USA. It was in these small neighborhoods that Memphis Soul music was born and raised.
In the middle of Memphis Soul music was the label Stax Records. The local Soul talent focused its efforts on the little record company, and soon the label was producing just about every major artist in the local area. Although Stax Records began as a small company, it wasnt long before they were producing artists like Maurice White, Al Green, and Aretha Franklin.
Another studio that catered to the Memphis Soul music was Royal Studio. Royal Studio would become one of the most important studios in Memphis, and it supported artists like Bill Blacks Combo and Ann Peebles, and Al Green. Royal Studio, along with Hi Records added a depth to the number of local artists that went beyond any comparison in other cities in the country. Even today, Royal Studio still records the music of Memphis Soul artists and others.
1957 is considered the year that Memphis Soul music was born. In 2007, the city of Memphis held a celebration in homage to the 50th anniversary of Memphis Soul, hailing Soulville, USA for bringing the genre to the place in music history that can only be from Memphis.