Soulsville celebrates grand opening - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ben Watson

Soulsville celebrates grand opening

Music fans from around the world are in Memphis this week to help Soulsville celebrate its grand opening at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. This is a proud week for Soulsville, Memphis, and the legendary sound that came out of here. Many describe it as a happy ending to Stax's painful demise several years ago.

Walking around the new Soulsville campus, Al Bell couldn't help thinking about the old Stax and what the lot looked like after the building was torn down in 1996. "With just a green historic marker there was trash on it weeds and I would cry because it was painful." Bell was a Stax Vice President during the 1960's and went on to own the company. While revisiting the site, he shed more tears. "But this time they were tears of joy," joy at the remarkable restoration that we now call Soulsville. Bell thinks this multi-million dollar monument to soul music will have a tremendous economic impact on this neighborhood. "You are going to have comming from all over the world to see this museum."

Bell feels that growth in the new Soulsville will spark business development in the area. Many local business people say it already has. Businessman Michael Mallory said, "Stax is a big part of the community just to bring the history back over here, it just kind of gives the people hope again." Mallory for example has renovated his barber shop, added a barber college and a limo service. He and many other feels that after years of blight.. Stax is the key to positive change in the community. 

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