CLEVELAND: new GRAMMY Museum MS exhibit on Willie Mitchell

New Year-Long Exhibit To Celebrate the History of the Legendary Memphis-Based Recording Studio 

CLEVELAND, MISS. — The legendary studio that was instrumental in shaping the sound  of Memphis soul will be celebrated with a new exhibit opening at GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi on  Thursday, October 1, 2020.

In partnership with Memphis Tourism, the exhibit, titled Willie Mitchell & The Music of Royal Studios, is a collaboration between the Mississippi Museum and Memphis-based Royal  Studios, and will tell the story of the iconic studio—one of the oldest in the world that continues to operate  today—and the late Willie Mitchell, who ran the studio and produced many artists on its label, Hi Records. On display through September 5, 2021, the exhibit will feature artifacts from Royal Studios and Hi Records artists, such as:  

  • Boo Mitchell’s Record Of The Year GRAMMY® Award for Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” which was  recorded at Royal Studios 
  • Willie Mitchell’s Trustee GRAMMY Museum® Award 
  • Al Green’s “No. 9” microphone, an RCA 77DX ribbon mic that Al Green preferred to use on his  recordings 
  • Plus more artifacts from legendary Royal Studios artists and sessions 

“The Royal Studios display at GRAMMY Museum Mississippi will educate visitors on the impact that my  father, Willie Mitchell, and all the producers and artists he worked with at Royal Studios and Hi Records  have had on the Memphis sound,” said GRAMMY-winning artist and producer Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell,  son of Willie Mitchell and current owner of Royal Studios. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with the museum to bring the history of Royal Studios to life in the form of this exhibit. The artifacts and stories we  culled together will show how instrumental Royal Studios has been and continues to be in shaping the  music and careers of so many influential artists of yesterday and today.” 

“We are so grateful to Boo Mitchell and the Royal Studios team for helping us bring this exhibit to life,”  said Emily Havens, executive director of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi. “Willie Mitchell and Royal  Studios played such an important role in developing the Memphis soul sound. And today, as one of the  oldest still-operating recording studios in the world, Royal Studios continues to bring us music by such  contemporaries as Bruno Mars and John Mayer. We’re thrilled to be able to share this important piece of  music history with our visitors.”  

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to partner with GRAMMY Museum Mississippi and Royal Studios to  share this important piece of Memphis music history,” said Kevin Kane, President/CEO of Memphis  Tourism. “As the home of blues, soul and rock and roll, Memphis continues to have a large impact on  American music, and, like so many studios in Memphis, Royal Studios has played an important role in putting Memphis on the musical map. It’s an honor for us to get to partner with these two music  institutions to bring the story of Royal Studios and Memphis music to life.”  

GRAMMY Museum Mississippi is currently open with updated health and safety protocols on Thursday through Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm, and Sunday from noon to 3 pm. For more information, visit  www.grammymuseumms.org.  

For up-to-date information on upcoming GRAMMY Museum Mississippi exhibits and programming,  subscribe to the Museum’s newsletter at grammymuseumms.org/newsletter.