Halfway between the blues of Memphis and the country music of Nashville lies Jackson, a charming city rich in music history. It’s the home of Carl Perkins, and it’s where country music and rock ’n’ roll collided to become rockabilly — the music that changed everything. There’s no better way to appreciate Jackson’s musical heritage than to revel in it yourself, so here are a few can’t-miss attractions to experience the music up close.
Discover local music at Jackson’s open-air music venue, Amphitheater at the Market during one of the 11 free concerts this season. AMP has been named runner-up Best Venue by the Jackson Sun Readers’ Choice Awards, and with a wide range of music from rock ‘n’ roll to rockabilly, it’s no wonder this summer concert series is popular with locals and tourists alike. Pack a picnic or grab a bite to eat at one of the food trucks nearby, then sit back and enjoy the music under the stars.
You could easily spend an entire afternoon in Casey Jones Village, so come early to explore this historical hotspot. Visit the Shoppes and the Home & Railroad Museum that tells the story of the famous conductor Casey Jones, who once lived in Jackson and was immortalized in the traditional song “The Ballad of Casey Jones.” While you’re here, enjoy a tasty Southern meal at the Old Country Store. You might be even able to catch live music at the Casey Jones Amphitheatre, an outdoor venue which often hosts festivals, community events, concerts and more.
Stories say the first rock music was written and played in Jackson long before it was ever recorded in Memphis. Today, you can revisit those iconic music moments at the Legends of Tennessee Music Museum in The Carnegie, originally opened as the first public library in Jackson in 1903 with partial funding from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The museum is carefully curated with priceless music memorabilia from Jackson icons like rockabilly pioneer Carl Perkins and Hard Rock Cafe founder Issac Tigrett, who made Jackson the home of the first Hard Rock Cafe in America.
Wherever you decide to stop, if you’re a music fan, you’ll find plenty to love in Jackson. In fact, Jackson and nearby cities in West Tennessee average around 40 live music events in a weekend. To make sure you don’t miss any of the action, check the calendar before you get there. Or, stay up to date by signing up for Jackson’s live music newsletter.