May 13 2007
02:02 pm
By: Andy Axel  shortURL

This June, Memphis Tennessee's very own Stax Records turns 50.

What began as a tiny record store in an old movie theater at the corner of McLemore Avenue and College Street in Memphis, Tennessee, grew to become one of the most important music recording studios in the world. When the modest Capitol Theater in the heart of Soulsville USA was transformed into Stax Records in 1959, it began launching the careers of unknowns who would become icons, cranking out a massive catalog of smash soul hits by the likes of Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, the Staple Singers, Wilson Pickett, Luther Ingram, Albert King, the Bar-Kays, Booker T. & the MG's, Johnnie Taylor, Rufus and Carla Thomas, and dozens of other artists whose influence remains vital in the music of today. On its many and varied labels, Stax Records also recorded such legends as Big Star, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Bill Cosby, Moms Mabley, and the Grammy-winning comedic genius Richard Pryor.

To commemorate their golden anniversary, there's a gala concert in Memphis featuring many of the acts which made Stax Records a worldwide phenomenon. Announced so far:

* Booker T & the MGs
* Isaac Hayes
* Angie Stone
* William Bell
* Eddie Floyd
* Mavis Staples
* Mable John
* Soul Children
* Rance Allen

You can find tickets by going to (link...) .

Elrod's picture

I wish I could be there

I absolutely love the Stax sound. I'm a huge fan of Frederick Knight's "I've Been Lonely for So Long." Stax never faded away either. It's early numbers and later recordings were equally great. I've got William Bell's "Eloise" playing right now. Mmm. At some point I'll make it out there to the Stax museum.

S Carpenter's picture

That should be a show

... that you don't miss. Wish my wife didn't have to work.

You can't go to a STAX show without your girl, right?

Andy Axel's picture

I may not have even seen the

I may not have even seen the announcement here, but there's a couple of good YouTube caps of Eddie Floyd with Booker T & The MGs at a Stax showcase at SXSW this year, featuring many of the players that are going to be at this show...

I got it into my head to check Pollstar to see if BT&MGs were playing anywhere, and sure enough -- this show popped up.

I was at the Stax Museum last week, and many of their more famous songs are in heavy rotation on my mental turntable.

Topping the charts in my head:

"I've Been Loving You Too Long" - Otis Redding
"Walk on By" - Isaac Hayes
"Knock on Wood" - Eddie Floyd
"Green Onions" - Booker T & the MGs
"Hound Dog" - Rufus Thomas
"September Gurls" - Big Star

...and this one:

Sam & Dave = instant good mood music. (I hope they can get Sam Moore on the hook for this show.)

Stax is a genuine treasure, and a living contribution to our culture. I am determined to see this show, if only to say I saw "Green Onions" performed live by 3/4 of the original lineup.


Georgia's in Florida, dumbass!

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