On day four of Texas Today Reporter Jamie Kennedy and Meteorologist Zac Scott's roundabout journey to view the solar eclipse in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, the duo stopped their RV in Memphis to learn about the emergence of soul music as a popular music style.
Former Memphis-based Stax Records brought the city's soul music into the mainstream. And today, its museum pays homage to the genre's black gospel roots by housing an entire AME Episcopal church that was originally build in Mississippi in 1906 and transported to Tennessee.
"Without the black church and without gospel music, there would be no soul music," Executive Director of the Stax Museum for American Soul Music Jeff Kolath said. "There would be no R&B music."
Elvis Presley, who was remembered Wednesday on the 40th anniversary of his death in Memphis, recorded some of his music at Stax Records, which re-opened as a museum in 2003. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the label's founding.
The Stax studio was built on a slant, which recording artists grew to love for its acoustics. Legendary artists who recorded there included Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes, as well as The Staple Singers.
All these years after the record company's founding, vocal instructors like Kortland Whalum are still working to keep Memphis soul music strong.
"Soul music is transcending," Whalum said. "It represents anything that you could possibly be feeling. Soul has no color. You can do whatever you want to, as long as you're putting that feeling behind it."