Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Memphis Music ~ Poplar Tunes ~ Rock N Soul Museum ~ Lansky Bros. ~ All Memphis Music ~ MCVB ~

Poplar Tunes Sign

Hal Lansky Saves Legendary Musical Neon!

Poplar Tunes Sign Joins Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum

Exhibition Tomorrow Morning

Memphis, TN … Tomorrow morning, Wednesday, April 7 at 9:00 a.m., representatives from H.A. Balton Sign Company will arrive at the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum with the legendary 12’ Poplar Tunes Record Store neon sign in tow, ready to install it on display inside the museum’s “Sun Records & Youth Culture” gallery. This legendary Memphis landmark, recognizable by just about everybody who calls Memphis home, will be loaded into the museum through the museum’s back doors, just behind the infamous fire station at Third and Linden.

The Poplar Tunes sign (or “Pop Tunes” as it was more commonly referenced) was salvaged from certain disappearance by Memphis businessman and music supporter, Hal Lansky, who offered it on loan to the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum to protect and preserve this critical aspect of Memphis music history. The Lansky’s family clothier business, originally located on Beale Street, dressed many of Memphis’ musical legends, including Elvis Presley. The Lansky’s have always been huge supporters of Memphis music, and have also preserved other artifacts from Memphis’ music history, several of which are already on loan to Rock ‘n’ Soul. H.A. Balton Sign

Company restored the sign, including the legendary “Poplar Tunes” and musical note neon across the top of the sign. Within the museum, changing letters across the bottom of the sign will commemorate significant dates in Memphis music history. The Smithsonian Institution was pleased with the sign’s inclusion within the Smithsonian-developed exhibition, and its significance in telling the Memphis music story.

Poplar Tunes, originally located at 308 Poplar, was within walking distance of Lauderdale Court apartments where Elvis lived while working at Crowne Electric. Elvis and many other Memphis musicians frequented Pop Tunes to listen to the latest 45-record releases of this new evolving music revolution which became known as Rock ‘n’ Roll. Pop Tunes also served as the launching pad of legendary Memphis record label, Hi Records, started in 1957 by Pop Tunes’ owner Joe Cuoghi and several partners. Pop Tunes also served as the largest product provider and servicer for the jukebox industry throughout the southeast U.S., making their music distribution business sort of the early forerunner to iTunes… providing teenagers with push-button selections of the latest musical hits, right at their finger tips.

“Every single Memphian who has ever been downtown remembers this iconic sign,” says John Doyle, Rock ‘n’ Soul Executive Director. “Behind Graceland and Sun Studios, Poplar Tunes former 308 Poplar address is one of the most musically significant addresses in our city. World-changing music exploded from that building; it once even promoted its own ‘Hot Releases’ record charts and you can believe the world paid attention.”

“The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is so grateful to Hal and to the entire Lansky family for all they have done for Memphis music. We are grateful to him for saving this great structure, and for bringing it to the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.”

The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Originally developed in association with the Smithsonian Institution, it offers tourists and citizens the only complete exhibition of Memphis music history. It is located on the campus of FedExForum at music Highway 61 (“The Blues Highway” or, to Memphians, Third Street) and legendary Beale Street. The museum is open 7 daily from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. For additional information, contact John Doyle, Executive Director, at (901) 205-2530 or (901) 485-6995 (cell) or at john@memphisrocknsoul.org.

John Doyle

Executive Director

Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum

All Memphis Music.com

We salute the saving of this sign!

Special thanks to The Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau
and The Memphis Commercial Appeal
for their true support of
All Memphis Music!

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