MEMPHIS, Tenn — In tonight’s Ransom Note: thinking big.
Last night, I bemoaned the grand opening of the National Museum of African American Music in Downtown Nashville.
To me, it doesn’t make sense.
The beautiful multi-million-dollar tribute to Black musicians, songwriters, and singers will open on Broadway at the gateway to the city’s “Lower Broad Honey Tonk Strip.”
I heard from many of you, agreeing Memphis keeps missing opportunities for a big get besides the world’s largest Bass Pro Shops.
But imagine how frustrating this has been for the executive director of the Memphis Rock N’ Soul Museum.
John Doyle actually had to host representatives from Nashville as they repeatedly visited Memphis to get information for their museum honoring Black music.
His email to me said, “It is sad. Memphis should be recognized as one of the leading music cities on the planet by history and by example. Instead, we choose to give away our brand. We choose to give that identity to more forwardly-music-thinking cities like Austin and Nashville who realize that music means recognition, branding, industry, economy, education and tourism.”
Doyle fears Memphis will allow its music legacy to fade away.
I fear he’s right.