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Memphis Listening Lab offers space for music lovers

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 8:59 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A new space for music lovers opening inside Crosstown Concourse is breaking new ground in the Bluff City.

The Memphis Listening Lab opens next Tuesday.

“You can check things out, take them to individual listening stations, and enjoy them at your leisure there. We also have a sound room that’s equipped with some really incredible high end audio gear,” said Jim Cole, a librarian and archivist at Memphis Listening Lab.

Cole says the goal behind the nonprofit is to create a space for music lovers and curators.

“We’ve got an editing room with stations set up for editing, where you can come in make samples, beats whatever, edit your music project. We’ve got a podcasting station for recording podcasts all open to the public all free to use,” he said.

Board president Sherman Willmott says the collection came from John King, co-founder of Ardent Records and longtime Memphis music promoter, who broke out the iconic Memphis rock band Big Star.

“This collection is, in the 30 years that I’ve been in the record business, the best quantity and quality that I’ve ever seen. There’s approximately 30,000 or more 45s. There’s well over 12,000 LPs,” said Willmott.

Willmott says they hope to make it more than just a library with record release parties, listening parties, lectures, and help with everything that goes into making and distributing an album.

“I think a space like this being open to the public, where anyone is welcome to come in and sit and enjoy, is just something that is unusual,” said board secretary Jim Thompson. “It doesn’t exist in Memphis for sure.”

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