Today comes the sad news that the black sign that for decades heralded Summer Avenue’s Pop Tunes will be painted over and transformed into a sign for the store that now occupies the old Pop Tunes space.
Pop Tunes, then Popular Tunes, was the record store where the young Elvis Presley, at that time a resident of nearby Lauderdale Courts public housing, would listen to and occasionally buy records. You can see a photo of Elvis in 1958 here: Cats Music – ELVIS . The store claimed to be the first place to sell Elvis records.
Pop Tunes closed several years ago, but survives on the web as Cat’s Music. The site is here: Cats Music – Home
In its day, the 40-foot tall sign, designed to look like a 45-rpm record, had neon lights around it that made the record look like it was rotating. Too bad this roadside attraction didn’t make it to a museum or Beale Street or even Graceland.
R.I.P. Pop Tunes sign in Memphis