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Various Artists: Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration

C. Michael Bailey By

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Various Artists: Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration Jim Stewart founded Satellite Records in 1957 and was joined by his sister Estelle Axton a year later, changing the label name to Stax (from the morpheme formed by Jim STewart and Estelle AXton) in 1961. Between 1961 and the label's agonizing demise in 1976, Stax released Southern soul classics that included the singles "Soul Man by Sam & Dave, "Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding, "Green Onions by Booker T & the MGs, and an embarrassment of musical riches beyond that. The label began with the release of Carla Thomas' "Gee Whiz and ended with Shirley Brown's "Woman to Woman. At any rate, that is the Readers Digest version.

It is difficult to discuss Stax without widening that discussion to give greater attention to Booker T. & the MGs. BT&MGs acted as both a discreet act and as the house band for the label. Along with the Mar-Keys, the group provided support for almost every act to pass through Memphis. It is impossible to speak of "The Memphis Sound and not acknowledge BT&MGs. The band basically defined the sound of Southern Soul and deserves to serve as the chairmen of the board of house bands that would rightfully included the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and Motown's Funk Brothers.

The Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration serves the listener as a perfect, cost-effective introduction to the Stax-Volt sound of the 1960s and '70s. It is one of the best conceived compilations and serves as a solid testament of Memphis' importance to American Popular Music.

Track Listing: CD1: Carla Thomas: Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes); The Mar-Keys: Last Night; William Bell: You Don't Miss Your Water; Booker T. & The MGs: Green Onions; Rufus Thomas: Walking The Dog; Otis Redding: I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now;) The Astors: Candy; Otis Redding: Respect; Sam & Dave: You Don't Know Like I Know; The Mad Lads: I Want Someone; Sam & Dave: Hold On I'm Comin

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Stax Records | Style: Beyond Jazz


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