Memphis Is The Most Namechecked City In Music

Include a few new titles by Cory Branan, The Hold Steady, Old Crow Medicine Show and, of course, Sheryl Crow’s “100 Miles to Memphis,” and, before you know it, Memphis has padded its lead as city mentioned in more recorded song lyrics than any other city on the planet! The list of commercially recorded songs which mention the city of Memphis, Tennessee, the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll, has now expanded to 1,074, featuring over 800 unique titles.

The comprehensive song list, compiled by the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is an updated version of a past brilliant idea. When a more abbreviated list was first published in 2008, the museum expected some flack or competition from other cities, namely New York, Paris and Nashville, each frequently harmonized in karaoke bars everywhere. However, crossing almost every musical genre, the city which has influenced the world’s music more than any other stands supreme.

And, with new titles submitted almost daily, and new songs being recorded as we speak… the list is expected to grow. The museum’s web site solicits new submissions for consideration. However, the song must mention the city… credits and frequent shout-outs by famous New York rapper Memphis Bleek don’t count.

Visitors to the site will see expected names… Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison. However, the epicenter of rock and soul music has also been woven into lyrics by Sammy Hagar, Stray Cats, The Killers, Rod Stewart, Grateful Dead, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Alabama, Tim McGraw, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Elton John, U2, Bob Dylan, Huey Lewis & The News, Joni Mitchell, Allman Brothers, Nirvana, Cher, Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, Beastie Boys, Billy Idol, REM, Jan & Dean, Bon Jovi, Phish, The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, John Denver, Smashing Pumpkins, even Snoop Dog. The list continues thanks to recordings by Neon Cactus, Elvis Hitler, Kowtow Popof, Spock’s Beard, Peetie Wheatstraw, Xray Men, Star Barefoot Walker, Runaway Planet, The Disco Biscuits, Babe the Blue Ox, Pianosaurus and Enchanted Ape.

The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is located at 191 Beale and Third St. at FedExForum in downtown Memphis. The museum exhibit was researched and created by the Smithsonian Institution, and tells of the legends who, for the love of music, created the songs that changed the cultural complexion of the world forever. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Additional information is available by calling (901) 205-2533,, or