During the last months, we’ve heard sad news from Memphis regarding the closing or demolition of historical places. A while ago, the old record shop Pop Tunes closed its doors and the demolition of the Liberty Land site has started last week. Luckily, there are people in Memphis who will not let this happen in an easy way. The tourism office will cooperate with the ‘Rock and Soul Museum’ to preserve Pop Tunes and its iconic neon advertising. The foundation to save the Zippin Pippin rollercoaster also may have a chance to succeed in their goal. Both items were reported on the TV Station ‘My Fox Memphis’.
The Memphis Convention and Visitor's Bureau is trying to preserve the memory of a record store, put on the map by the king of rock and roll, by giving Pop Tunes an official place in history. Inside the building at 308 Poplar, records can still be seen but none of them are for sale. Outside is an iconic neon sign and store front that's been at the corner of Danny Thomas and Poplar for years.
Kevin Kane says, "This is where Elvis bought records and this was Memphis' premier record shop for decades." But the record store that's become a historic symbol of music sold in Memphis, simply known as Pop Tunes, is gone.
Cora Pitt says, "It's disappointing because it's another local business going out of business." Kevin Kane with the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau says it's a sign of the times. "It was a business decision, of course we hate it for the community, hate it for the historic standpoint, but not totally surprised."
With Generation X downloading music at an exponential pace rather than buying CD's or even vinyl records, Pop Tunes, though once a music selling giant that sold records to a young Elvis Presley, has become obsolete in a changing technology-based world.
Word of the closures came weeks ago after the stores parent company, Music City Record Distributors, closed both Memphis locations. Some Memphians say they just heard about the closures, and that it's just one more piece of historic Memphis that's in the process of being lost. Kane says even though the records aren't being sold here anymore, he and the Rock and Soul Museum are working right now to make sure the name and the neon live on. Kane says, "We think that would be a fitting place from a historical standpoint and obviously it will preserve its memory for future generations."
But as Memphians ponder the thought of a city without Pop Tunes; the future of Memphis, they say, is one that's losing parts of what made it Memphis in the first place. "It's a sign to see how far we still need to go… we have to preserve our city's history."