So, everyone who visits Memphis knows to hit the Elvis circuit: Graceland, Sun Studio, and Beale Street. While the Stax Museum of American Soul Music is a little out of the way (and in a neighborhood you might not want to visit at night), it is a really fantastic trip through history and a great window into both Memphis and the origins of soul music. It's not too far from Atlanta and it makes a great little weekend escape.
The tour begins with a short and informative video presentation on the history of the museum, beginning with its early days as a recording studio, through the difficulties faced by the town and the company after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. You wouldn't often think about the effect of such an event on a local business, but the interviews from musicians and engineers who were on the scene at the time give a fascinating insight into the political realities of the era.
Of course, it's not all serious, and there are plenty of costumes on hand, from the likes of Tina Turner and other legends, as well as an actual Cadillac given to Isaac Hayes to celebrate his success. There are also several listening stations where you can enjoy the recordings from the era after learning about them during the tour. Allow plenty of time, as there are a lot of exhibits and you may want to take some time to dance along with the clips from Soul Train!