One of America’s Most Beloved ‘Music Landmarks’ is in Illinois
I. Love. Music. Listening to it, watching it live, and reading and viewing documentaries about it. Even better, is traveling to where great moments in music took place.
It is very difficult for me to spend waking moments without music coming out of some speakers or headphones. As a musician and a music lover, nothing brings me more happiness than a great song in my ears.
My house growing up was always filled with music. Some of my greatest memories are of my big sister and me sitting in her bedroom listening to records. My love of music turned into learning how to make my own music, which then turned to a complete obsession with visiting the places where great moments in music history happened whenever the opportunity comes.
American Music Landmarks You Should Visit
For a music lover, this is the kind of list that turns into a 'trip planner'. First though, it was to scroll the whole list and see how many I could check off.
Preservation Hall in New Orleans, Louisiana
Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans, Louisiana
Motown Museum in Detroit, Michigan
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio
Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee
My favorite, was a visit to Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Prince's home, workplace and playground was the best 3 hours I've ever spent completely immersed in an artist's world. No other artist has ever created space quite like Paisley Park.
I knew that Illinois was included in this list of Music Landmarks, but I wasn't sure what the LoveExploring.com people wold choose. They actually chose a place that I've never heard of before, so we're checking it out together, for the first time.
The Birthplace of Modern Gospel Music
There's a church in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood with quite a musical past.
Pilgrim Baptist Church, in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, first opened as a synagogue in 1891, with the church founded in 1916. It’s also credited as being the birthplace of modern gospel: Thomas A Dorsey, a former blues musician from Georgia, moved here as musical director in the early 1930s and pioneered a new kind of music that blended blues, jazz and spiritual song. The church's interior was damaged by fire in 2006 (pictured above) and again in 2020, but restoration plans are in progress.
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