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Record 60K visited Rock'n'Soul Museum in 2013

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Tim Andrassy / FOX13 News Tim Andrassy / FOX13 News
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DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS, Tenn. -

More than 60,000 visitors rocked, bopped and stepped their way through the Memphis Rock'n'Soul Museum in 2013, setting an annual attendance record for the Smithsonian-curated attraction.

"My goal was 60,000," says John Doyle, Rock'n'Soul Executive Director. "And we hit 60,135 on New Year's Eve." Doyle says the number represents a growth of 15 percent from 2012, when attendance totaled 52,179. This official count only includes paid admissions to the museum, which means many more came through using complimentary passes or at private events.

Doyle says a few initiatives are to thank for the growth spurt. "In 2013 we increased our targeted, promotional social media efforts and really looked to engage with people more, both when they're thinking about a visit and after they've been here," he says. "And with our 'Guitar Your Car' campaign benefiting music education we've had a great platform to reach out more to Tennesseans and specifically Memphis residents."

The license plate, created in partnership with Gibson Guitar Foundation and bearing a picture of their ES335 guitar, proclaims Tennessee as "The State of American Music."  They became the first specialty license plate in Tennessee to benefit music education for Tennessee's students and are available at county clerk's offices statewide for $35.

"Certainly we can also point to increased awareness brought on by the Memphis Music Hall of Fame which inducted its second class this year," Doyle added. The MMHOF induction on November 7 featured performances by inductees like Stax legend Carla Thomas as well as tributes by artists like Paul Rodgers and Master P.

Whatever the reason, more than 60,000 people chose to rock-and-soul last year, and Doyle hopes they can top it in 2014.

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