TDTD and Memphis Music Hall of Fame Celebrate Tourism and Legend Music Icons

It was a day to celebrate Tennessee's Tourism success and Memphis music when Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum Executive Director John Doyle and Memphis CVB's President and CEO Kevin Kane held a joint press conference at historic Clayborn Temple in Memphis.  

Gov. Haslam and Commissioner Triplett announced the news that Tennessee tourism’s direct domestic and international travel expenditures broke another record, reaching an all-time high of $19.3 billion in 2016, up 4.7 percent over the previous year, as reported by the U.S. Travel Association. Tourism generated 176,500 jobs for Tennesseans, a 3.3 percent growth year over year. Tourism generated 176,500 jobs for Tennesseans, a 3.3 percent growth year over year.

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Spotlighting the importance of Memphis music, TDTD also presented a commemorative gold record to Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, son of the late Royal Studios music producer Willie Mitchell. Royal Studios marks its 60th anniversary as one of the most successful producers of soul music worldwide, including hits from Al Green, platinum selling artists like John Mayer and Rod Stewart and the Grammy-winning song “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. 

The Overton High School dance team kept the excitement going with their dance routine to “Uptown Funk.”

Uptown Funk was the perfect segue for John Doyle to set the stage to announce seven Memphis music luminaries to be inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame including: Sun Records icon and member of the original Class of ’55, Roy Orbison; Booker T. Washington alum and co-founder of the super group Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White; prolific Stax and Hi Records horn section, The Memphis Horns; father of Memphis guitar blues, Frank Stokes; gospel singer and songwriter, Cassietta George; Sun Records performer and producer who later had a huge influence on Nashville’s country music scene, “Cowboy” Jack Clement, and artist manager who also helped start the Beale Street Music Festival 40 years ago, Irvin Salky.

This year’s honorees will be inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame at a star-studded induction ceremony to be held Oct. 27 at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets will be available at the Cannon Center box office or at They join a Hall of Fame roster that includes B.B. King, Al Green, Elvis Presley, Isaac Hayes, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others.