FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2010

IN SESSION, ALBERT KING WITH STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN’S LEGENDARY BLUES SUMMIT, FINALLY AVAILABLE ON DVD

Guitar titans' one and only meeting to be released as a deluxe CD/DVD November 9th on Stax

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — On December 6, 1983, legendary blues guitarist Albert King joined his disciple Stevie Ray Vaughan on a Canadian sound stage for the live music television series In Session. Magic happened. The highly sought after video footage from that one-time legendary summit becomes available for the first time ever on November 9 with the release of Stax Records’ deluxe two-disc CD/DVD In Session.

The DVD contains three classic performances unavailable on the previously issued audio disc: “Born Under a Bad Sign,” the landmark title track from Albert King’s biggest Stax release written by William Bell and Booker T. Jones; Stevie Ray’s “Texas Flood,” the Larry Davis-penned title track of Vaughan’s immortal debut album; and “I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town,” made famous by Louis Jordan and later, Ray Charles.

“It was evident from the first choruses,” writes liner notes author/musicologist Samuel Charters, “that they were playing for each other. And that was the best audience either of them could ever have. The music never lost its intensity, its quality of something very important being handed back and forth and there was time for Stevie and Albert to see where their ideas took them.”

Accolades have showered upon this momentous encounter. “As a document of what was probably one of the greatest nights in the musical life of SRV, this belongs in the collection of every true fan,” said the Austin American-Statesman. Sonic Boomers added, “Both men are gone now, but rare recordings like In Session remind us of a time when blues giants still walked the earth side by side.” Elmore magazine called it “an indispensible part of any blues fan’s collection.” And BluesWax noted, “thank goodness, this disc lives on and on.”

Now this one-of-a-kind visual document featuring two giants of American blues can be enjoyed by audiences all over the world. Sadly, King and Vaughan would not share a stage together ever again. Vaughan, 31 years King’s junior, died in a helicopter crash in the fog on the way back from a concert in 1990. King outlived him by two years, dying of a heart attack in 1992. They didn’t meet often, and their careers took different paths. But we can all be grateful for that one long day in a television studio when sparks flew and this timeless performance was forever captured.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2010

STAX NUMBER ONES COMPILATION COLLECTS CHART-TOPPING SONGS FROM THE FIRST NAME IN AMERICAN SOUL MUSIC

Included are #1 hits by Booker T. & the MGs, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding, Johnnie Taylor, Rufus Thomas, Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, The Dramatics and more.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Stax Records is where Southern soul became a global force in music. The label, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, gave rise to a number of stars – many hailing from its Southeast Memphis neighborhood. During the ’60s and into the ’70s, Stax studio was a wellspring of hit records that topped both the R&B and pop charts. On March 30, 2010, Stax Records – now operating within Concord Music Group – will release Stax Number Ones, a compilation of 15 chart-topping hits by Stax’ best-known artists.

Included in Stax Number Ones are Booker T. & the MGs’ “Green Onions,” Sam & Dave’s “Hold On! I’m Comin’” and “Soul Man,” Eddie Floyd’s “Knock on Wood,” Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” Johnnie Taylor’s “Who’s Making Love,” “I Believe in You (You Believe in Me)” and “Jody’s Got Your Girl and Gone,” Rufus Thomas’ “(Do The) Push & Pull [Part 1],” Jean Knight’s “Mr. Big Stuff,” Isaac Hayes’ “Theme from Shaft,” The Dramatics’ “In the Rain,” The Staple Singers’ “I’ll Take You There” and “If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)” and Shirley Brown’s “Woman to Woman.”

Stax Records has placed more than 175 hit songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop charts as well as a staggering 250 hits on the R&B charts. Stax Number Ones represents all 15 songs that hit #1 on either chart from the label’s golden era. It is a perfect sampling of classic Stax.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2009


STAX TO REISSUE ISAAC HAYES’ SHAFT IN DELUXE EDITION NOVEMBER 3, DIGITALLY REMASTERED WITH BONUS MATERIAL AND EXTENSIVE LINER NOTES

Pivotal 1971 soundtrack was one of soul music’s best sellers of all time
and earned Isaac Hayes a Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — In 1971, the song was everywhere. “Who is the man who would risk his neck for his brother man?” Shaft? Damn right. Isaac Hayes’ Shaft soundtrack album became a #1 album on both the pop and R&B charts — and remained on the charts for a jaw-dropping 60 weeks. The first soul soundtrack to a major motion picture would earn Hayes a Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe and set him on his way to stardom. The soundtrack continues to influence popular music — hip-hop in particular.

On November 3, 2009, Stax Records, a unit of Concord Music Group, will release Shaft (Deluxe Edition), a digitally remastered reissue of the soundtrack including a bonus track: “Theme From Shaft [2009 Mix].” Ashley Kahn, author of several music books, contributor to NPR’s “Morning Edition” and adjunct professor at New York University, wrote the liner notes for the deluxe edition.

A primary reason for the enduring significance of the ultimate Blaxploitation film Shaft is Hayes’ score. He created music that sounded like nothing else of its day. “The one thing I’ve learned from Shaft,” Hayes told The New York Times in 1972, “is that pop music doesn’t set any restrictions anymore. You don’t just have to go up there and sing a song because that’s the way it was always done before. Use whatever means necessary, be it rap, song or arrangement, to get to the people.”

As Kahn notes, “Ironically, the world’s first major motion film score created by a soul music producer boasts few tracks that fit neatly into the category of soul. Hayes created a wide variety of styles — some vocal, most instrumental — to serve the film’s many locations.” Examples: the organ-trio groove of “No Name Bar,” the popping, jazzy pulse of “Be Yourself,” and the gentle 3/4 feel of “A Friend’s Place,” which channels the bittersweet sway of a Bacharach-David melody.

“Soulsville,” a slow-moving vocal heard behind a lengthy ghetto scene, features mournful saxophone and Hayes’ somber voice delivering a sermon on inner city reality. And filling an entire album side was the 19-minute jam “Do Your Thing,” featuring distorted guitar pushed along by intermittent horn lines and chanting of the song title.

But the best known song remains the four-minute, 40-second “Theme From Shaft.” According to Stax historian Rob Bowman, both musical ideas came from Stax sessions in the ’ ‘60s — the high-hat lick from the break of Otis Redding’s 1966 recording of “Try a Little Tenderness” and the guitar part from “a long forgotten track that for one reason or another was never released. The song went two and a half minutes before the vocal part began. And then, as Kahn describes, “that call-and-response, or rather question-and-answer lyric that elevated its subject to a mythic level of machismo: who was the black private dick that was a sex machine to all the chicks . . . who would risk his neck for brother man . . . who would not cop out.” Shaft. Right on.

Released in September, 1971, “Theme From Shaft” was an immediate crossover hit: #1 on the pop chart, #2 R&B. It became the precursor not only to disco but hip-hop. Kahn notes that at the premiere of the remake of Shaft with Samuel L. Jackson as its lead — 28 years and 18 albums after creating the original soundtrack — Hayes told it like it was. “I’ve talked to some younger A&R people who’d say, ‘Well, what have you done lately?’ And I thought to myself, just turn on the radio and listen to some of your hip-hop stuff. That’s what I’ve done lately.”


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2009

BIG STAR’S LEGENDARY #1 RECORD AND RADIO CITY ALBUMS REMASTERED AND REISSUED BY ARDENT/STAX ON ONE CD WITH PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED SINGLE MIXES

Original two albums also reissued on two separate vinyl LPs

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Big Star released two albums in the early ‘70s, neither of which set sales records. Yet in the 35 years that have ensued, artists like R.E.M., Wilco, The Replacements, Teenage Fanclub, Primal Scream, Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey, The Bangles and Steve Wynn have enthusiastically acknowledged the band’s influence. On June 16, Ardent/Stax Records through Concord Music Group will reissue Big Star’s #1 Record (1972) and Radio City (1974) albums, completely remastered with the never-before-released single mix of “In the Street” and single edit of “O My Soul.”

Additionally, Ardent/Stax has released #1 Record and Radio City on two separate vinyl LPs featuring faithfully reproduced artwork, including the original Ardent Records labels.

Big Star’s legacy has long outlasted its short tenure as a band. Led by ex-Box Tops singer Alex Chilton and including Chris Bell (vocals, guitar), Andy Hummel (bass) and Jody Stephens (drums), the group’s inspired mixture of ‘60s pop, powered interplay and irresistible melody was exciting and special: it was out of step with the mainstream rock sounds of 1972. Though Chilton had come off of a #1 blue-eyed soul hit, the Box Tops’ “The Letter,” Big Star’s music was a glorious mesh of British-influenced pop, Byrds-esque harmonies, taut edginess and studio expertise. Traces of the Beatles, the Kinks and Badfinger pulsate through their repertoire.

Big Star began as Alex Chilton, having left the Box Tops to forge a solo folk career in New York, returned to his hometown of Memphis, encouraged by guitarist and engineer Chris Bell, who led a local trio called Ice Water. Chilton joined the band, which immediately set up camp at the city’s Ardent Studio with aid from the studio’s owners/in-house producers John Fry and Terry Manning. The band’s name was changed to Big Star, after the supermarket chain prevalent in the South.

The band’s debut album, #1 Record, flew in the face of 1972’s abounding folk-rock and progressive-rock sounds. The album’s greatness was not lost on rock critics of the day, but in the end it did not sell particularly well, attributed in part to the piecemeal distribution network of Ardent’s distributor, Stax. Still, songs like “In the Street,” “Don’t Lie to Me, “Feel” and “The Ballad of El Goodo” became cult classics.

Tension began to mount within the band’s ranks as Bell saw his role as leader eclipsed by Chilton’s dominant personality. Bell preferred that Big Star remain a studio entity while Chilton was eager for the band to hit the live circuit. Around Christmas 1972, Bell quit his own band and Big Star soldiered onward as a trio.

In 1974, Ardent released Radio City, the second and (for the moment) final Big Star album. Its best-known song, “September Gurls,” remains one of pop’s classic songs with its mesmerizing chorus and Chilton’s ringing guitar break sounding like the Byrds fused with the venom of the Kinks. “O My Soul,” “Back of a Car” and “Mod Lang” are cut from a similar cloth while “Life Is White” and “Way Out West” show the band’s slower side. And as liner note writer Brian Hogg observed, there are times on this album that the tension within the group is plainly audible: “The ever-present aura of something gradually becoming unhinged, combined with masterly songs, somehow jells to create a remarkable collection and makes Radio City one of rock’s seminal albums,” he writes.

After Radio City, Hummel quit the band and was replaced by John Lightman on what was to become Big Star 3, shelved for years until the myth surrounding the band grew to titanic proportions. Tragically, Chris Bell died in a car crash in Memphis in December, 1979. Chilton went on to record inspired if sporadic solo albums while producing records by the Cramps and Chris Stamey. Jody Stephens works at Ardent Studio to this day and has been the sparkplug behind Big Star’s reunion tours, during which the band played on both The Tonight Show and The Late Show With David Letterman.

As the reissue’s other liner note writer Rick Clark observed, “It has been said that art should create the sense that time has stopped. Big Star transcended normal escapist pop convention by creating music that somehow froze moments that were concurrently vibrant and startlingly brilliant, yet oddly spent. Somehow Big Star could make you feel good in the face of dashed expectations and decay. It’s that realness, in the band’s lyrics and urgently bright sound, which has allowed Big Star’s vision to endure way beyond its brief lifespan.”

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 27, 2009

ISAAC HAYES’ LEGENDARY HOT BUTTERED SOUL ALBUM REISSUED ON STAX WITH TWO BONUS TRACKS AND DIGITAL REMASTERING ON JUNE 23

Four-song long-player ushered in the era of album-oriented soul with hits “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Walk On By.” Reissue contains notes by Jim James of My Morning Jacket.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Until Isaac Hayes released Hot Buttered Soul in 1969, soul music had been a singles-oriented genre. Best known as the partner of David Porter in writing such Stax hits as “Hold On! I’m Coming,” “Soul Man” and “B-A-B-Y” among others, Hayes, along with Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Curtis Mayfield gave the soul album a higher purpose, superseding the standard practice of assembling LPs around recent hits and filler. Even so, a four-song album whose two “singles” clocked in at 12:03 and 18:42 was unprecedented.

Stax Records will reissue Hot Buttered Soul on June 23, 2009 with two bonus tracks (single edits of “Walk On By” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”), digital remastering, new rare photographs, and expanded liner notes by both music historian Bill Dahl and Hayes fan Jim James from the band My Morning Jacket.

Hayes had recorded one previous album, Presenting Isaac Hayes in 1968, which failed to impact the charts the way his Porter-collaborated song compositions had for other Stax artists. Nonetheless, label president Al Bell green-lighted Hayes’ encore long-player. Hayes went to cross-town Ardent Studios to lay down the tracks.

“There was absolutely no attempt to be commercial,” Marvell Thomas, the album’s co-producer, told annotator Dahl. “It was just, ‘Let’s do these songs. Let’s do ’em like we like to do ’em. Play whatever you want to play and have a good time doing it.’ To the company, it wasn’t, ‘We’re going to make one of the all-time great albums and it’s going to sell huge.’ It was, ‘Okay, let Isaac do his thing.’”

Opening with Hayes’ sexy, intimate delivery of Jimmy Webb’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” clocking in at 18 and a half minutes, the album also included an extended remake of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “Walk On By,” given definition by the spacey lead guitar of Harold Beane. “The guitar solo was not something that was planned on front end,” recalled Thomas. “It was like, ‘Well why not?’ We just stretched out and let it go. When you get in the middle of it, you just kind of ride with it until it stops.” Which it did after 12 minutes.

Beane joined Thomas on piano and Hayes himself on organ, backed by the surviving members of the Bar-Kays, a band ravaged by the airplane accident that also claimed Otis Redding. Guitarist Michael Toles and drummer Willie Hall filled out the band. Interestingly, the overdubbing of strings, horns and backing vocals was done in Detroit instead Memphis, thanks largely to the influence of producer Don Davis, who introduced Al Bell to veteran Motown arranger Johnny Allen. Another Detroiter, Dale Warren — the nephew of Berry Gordy’s ex-wife — orchestrated “Walk On By,” with a violin section populated with members of the Detroit Symphony.

The original album contained two other songs as well as the hits. “One Woman,” penned by Wilson Pickett accompanist Charlie Chalmers and his future wife, Sandra Rhodes, was more of a traditional Memphis soul ballad, and was recorded also by Al Green for his Green Is Blues album. The only number on Hot Buttered Soul bearing Hayes’ writing imprimatur (a co-write by Bell) sported one of the longest song titles ever conceived: “Hyperbolicsyllabiccsesquedalymistic.” According to Thomas, “(The title) means the propensity to make a whole big deal of using words to show off your vocabulary.”

The reissue contains single mixes for both “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Walk On By,” extending the four-song album to six. The new edition also contains a second set of liner notes by Jim James, lead vocalist, songwriter and producer for the Kentucky-based American rock band My Morning Jacket.

Quoting James, “Everything is revealed when you open your mind to its
secrets . . . [The album makes] your mind bleed . . . blurring the lines of what you thought you knew before was possible with music. It is one of those start to finish classics. And yes, damn near everything is here: Soul. Rock. Sweeping strings. Blasting horns. Full orchestral arrangements. Bare stripped down moments. Humor. Sadness. Funk . . . The recording is so God-damned 3D. It’s black. It’s white. It is universal. It is timeless. It is LOVE.”



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2009

STAX RECORDS REVISIT ROOTS OF THE HIP-HOP GENERATION WITH THE SOUL OF HIP-HOP, VOLUME 1

Fourteen-track collection due March 31, 2009 – includes original Stax hits of the ‘60s and ‘70s later sampled by contemporary hip-hop artists

All-Star Set Includes Isaac Hayes, Booker T & The MGs, The Emotions, William Bell, David Porter, The Bar-Kays, The Dramatics, Rufus Thomas, Little Milton and many more

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Every creative act, no matter how edgy and forward thinking, has some precedent. Even the most progressive artist, no matter how groundbreaking, cannot deny a connection to an earlier era of genius. In few places is this link more evident than in hip-hop, an art form built on musical artifacts and hooks from decades past, reconfigured and reinterpreted via contemporary recording and sampling technology.

And judging from the sounds of modern-day hip-hop, artists from Stax Records were prominent figures in those record collections. Stax, re-launched in 2007 as a division of Concord Music Group, offers a glimpse of hip-hop’s roots with the release of The Soul of Hip Hop, Volume I, a collection of classic tracks from the ‘60s and ‘70s. The 14 songs featured in this first volume are just a few of the Stax gems that have since become sampling mainstays for some of the most prominent hip-hop artists of the past two decades – all of whom owe an incalculable debt to the label’s rich legacy of soul, R&B and funk. The Soul of Hip Hop, Volume I will be available at all digital and retail outlets on March 31, 2009.

The compilation is a testament to the enormous influence of the Stax sound, energy and attitude on the entire hip-hop generation. The Soul of Hip Hop, Volume I features hits from Stax luminaries like Isaac Hayes, Booker T. & The MGs, The Emotions, The Bar-Kays, The Dramatics, Rufus Thomas, William Bell, David Porter and Little Milton. Since the ‘80s, these artists and their classic recordings featured here have become source material for rap and hip-hop artists and producers like Rakim, DJ HiTek, Cypress Hill, DJ Muggs, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, DJ Quik, Ice Cube, Notorious B.I.G., Wu-Tang Clan, RZA and so many more.

Apart from its undeniable influence on the hip-hop generation, Stax Records holds a pivotal place in American music history as one of the most popular soul music record labels of all time – second only to Motown in sales and influence, but first in gritty, raw, Southern-steeped soul music. In its heyday throughout the ‘60s and early ‘70s, Stax placed more than 167 hit songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop charts as well as a staggering 243 hits on the R&B charts.

Stax Records continues to define the sound of beats in the world of hip-hop and popular music. No one could have ever predicted that decades after they closed their doors in Memphis, Stax Records would be opening the consciousness of an entirely new generation. The vintage tracks featured here truly represent The Soul of Hip-Hop.

TRACK LIST

1. 24-CARAT BLACK – “Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth”
2. THE EMOTIONS – “Blind Alley”
3. BOOKER T. & THE MGs – “Melting Pot”
4. THE BAR-KAYS – “Humpin’”
5. THE DRAMATICS – “Get Up and Get Down”
6. ISAAC HAYES – “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic”
7. ISAAC HAYES – “Hung Up On My Baby”
8. DAVID PORTER – “I’m Afraid the Masquerade Is Over”
9. WENDY RENE – “After the Laughter (Comes Tears)”
10. CHARMELS – “As Long As I’ve Got You”
11. THE SWEET INSPIRATIONS – “Why Marry”
12. RUFUS THOMAS – “Do the Funky Penguin (Part 1)”
13. LITTLE MILTON – “Packed Up and Took My Mind”
14. WILLIAM BELL - “I Forgot To Be Your Lover”

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2009



STAX RECORDS REISSUES ISAAC HAYES’ BLACK MOSES ALBUM ON CD IN DELUXE EDITION WITH EXTENSIVE LINER NOTES ON FEBRUARY 24

In addition, Hayes’ 1976 disco album Juicy Fruit (Disco Freak) gets deluxe reissue

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Isaac Hayes’ epic 1971 album Black Moses, which captured the artist at the peak of his popularity, will be reissued on Stax Records on February 24, 2009. The release is a complete replication of the original Black Moses package, folding out into a cross-shaped image of the artist. The album was re-mastered from the original tapes. New liner notes are by Rob Bowman, the Grammy Award-winning Stax scholar and author of Soulsville U.S.A: The Story of Stax Records.

Also on February 24, Stax will reissue Hayes’ 1976 disco album, Juicy Fruit (Disco Freak), originally released on Hayes’ ABC Records-distributed Hot Buttered Soul label and recorded at his own Memphis studio with many of his long-time band members. This will be its first time on CD. Music historian Bill Dahl contributed liner notes to the reissue.

Stax Records was re-launched by Concord Music Group in 2007, the year of the legendary soul label’s 50th Anniversary.

Black Moses, a 14-song two-album set that will be reissued on two CDs, reached #1 on Billboard’s soul album chart and #10 pop, remaining on the charts for 40 weeks. Bowman describes it as “a wondrously crafted, intense evocation of the vagaries of love gone bad,” which Hayes himself corroborated: “I was going through some emotional turmoil. You can tell by the tunes on the album that I was going through a break-up of my marriage. It was the only way I could express myself.”

The album may be best remembered by its lead single, Hayes’ signature version of the Jackson 5’s “Never Can Say Goodbye,” which was on the radio months before the rest of the album had been completed. Other highlights include the Bacharach-David-penned Carpenters hit, “Close to You,” Toussaint McCall’s “Nothing Takes the Place of You,” the Curtis Mayfield-authored Gene Chandler hit “Man’s Temptation,” Little Johnnie Taylor’s “Part Time Love,” Kenny Gamble and Thom Bell’s Aretha Franklin hit “A Brand New Me,” Luther Ingram’s “Help Me Love,” Curtis Mayfield’s “Need To Belong,” the Whispers’ “Your Love Is so Doggone Good,” Kris Kristofferson’s “For the Good Times,” which had been a hit for Ray Price, Bacharach-David’s “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” and the Hayes composition “Good Love.” “Isaac’s ability to take other people’s material and make it so deeply personal is nothing short of brilliant,” writes Bowman.

As the ‘70s progressed, Hayes adjusted admirably to the disco onslaught. On his exit from Stax, he released four albums in a little over a year (Chocolate Chip, Disco Connection, Groove-A-Thon and finally Juicy Fruit [Disco Freak]) while launching his career as a movie star in Three Tough Guys and Truck Turner. Hayes was loyal to his band members (known as the Movement) and many of them are featured on Juicy Fruit (Disco Freak) including drummer Willie Hall, keyboardist/co-arranger Lester Snell and guitarists Michael Toles and Charles “Skip” Pitts. Trumpeter Ben Cauley was a member of the Bar-Kays who survived the tragic 1967 plane crash that claimed the life of Otis Redding. Juicy Fruit (Disco Freak) is also one of the few Hayes albums written entirely by Hayes and includes several noteworthy songs including “Let’s Don’t Ever Blow Our Thing,” “The Storm Is Over” and “Music to Make Love By.”

Hayes’ unexpected death on August 10, 2008 at the age of 65 robbed us of future soulful treasures, but we can rediscover R&B classics like Black Moses and overlooked gems like Juicy Fruit and groove anew on his extraordinary musical vision.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2008

STAX TO RELEASE OTIS REDDING LIVE IN LONDON AND PARIS CAPTURING THE SOUL KING’S FINEST ONSTAGE MOMENTS IN 1967

Redding is backed by Booker T. & the MGs featuring Steve Cropper and the Mar-Keys. Tom Dowd supervised the recording.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Otis Redding was at the peak of his stardom in March, 1967 when he crossed the Atlantic to perform for his growing European fan base. As part of the traveling Stax/Volt Revue that is credited with spreading the sound of Memphis across the world, Redding played two exemplary shows in London and Paris. These performances have been combined to form the 19-song Otis Redding — Live in London and Paris, set for release September 23, 2008 on the reactivated Stax Records through Concord Music Group.

Backing Redding was Stax’s own in-house all-star band: Booker T. & the MGs (Booker T. Jones, keyboards; Steve Cropper, guitar; Duck Dunn, bass; and Al Jackson, drums) plus the Mar-Keys (Wayne Jackson, trumpet; Andrew Love, tenor saxophone; and Joe Arnold, tenor saxophone). Legendary producer Tom Dowd supervised the recording both at Finsbury Park Astoria in London on March 17, 1967 and at the Olympia Theatre in Paris on March 21, 1967. Bill Belmont produced the reissue.

Although some of the songs have appeared as part of the Ace Records 1,000 Volts series and the long out of print Stax Volt in Europe, Vol. 3, the new Stax collection is the first to present the songs in the order they were played onstage in 1967. The set was mixed from the original multi-track tapes by Stephen A. Hart at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley.

“At the end of Otis Redding’s performance at the Olympia Theatre in Paris, I will always remember the audience chanting ‘une autre, une autre’ (one more). They just couldn’t get enough,” recalls guitarist Cropper in the liner notes. He calls the shows “the experience of a lifetime.”

The album contains seven songs (plus an introduction) taped in London, and another ten (plus an intro) from Paris. The Paris show was longer because, unlike London, there was no 11 p.m. curfew. Featured are live staples like “Respect,” “My Girl,” “Shake,” “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song),” and “Try a Little Tenderness.” Redding even brought a pair of songs with British origins back across the Atlantic — rousing, finger-popping renditions of the Beatles’ “Day Tripper” and the Rolling Stones’ ”(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2008



EDDIE FLOYD, THE “KNOCK ON WOOD” MAN, MINES HIS R&B ROOTS ON NEW ALBUM OF SOUTHERN SOUL MUSIC ON STAX RECORDS

Eddie Loves You So contains new recordings of songs from his Stax and Falcons years, including songs he wrote for other artists


LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Soul man Eddie Floyd’s first new album in six years, titled Eddie Loves You So, marks his return to the Stax Records logo. The singer who scored a monster soul classic with “Knock on Wood” in 1967 has returned to his Southern roots for the new CD. Included are 10 original songs written for fellow soul artists in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Some date back to Floyd’s years with the seminal proto-soul group The Falcons; others are some previously unheard gems. The new CD hits the streets on July 29, 2008 on Stax Records through the Concord Music Group.

Eddie Loves You So
was produced by the Boston team of Michael Dinallo (known for his work with the Radio Kings and Barrence Whitfield) and Ducky Carlisle (who’s worked with Susan Tedeschi, Buddy Guy and Graham Parker).

The album, while newly recorded, takes the listener back to the R&B origins of the Montgomery, Ala.-born Floyd. He was a member of The Falcons in the late ‘50s, which also featured Joe Stubbs, later of the Contours and 100 Proof Aged in Soul. From that era, Floyd has re-recorded “You’re So Fine,” the group’s breakthrough 1959 hit, plus “Never Get Enough of Your Love,” which he recorded on Al Bell’s Safice Records between his Falcons and Stax years. There’s also a previously unreleased Falcons song, “Since You’ve Been Gone,” which was demoed but never recorded until now.

The album contains songs that Floyd wrote for other Stax artists but never recorded himself: “’Til My Back Ain’t Got No Bone,” a hit for William Bell and later cut by Esther Phillips; “I Will Always Have Faith In You,” a #11 hit for Carla Thomas; and “You Don’t Know What You Mean To Me,” a co-write with Steve Cropper that label mates Sam & Dave who took to #20 on the R&B chart. All have been recorded by Floyd for the album, as was “I Don’t Want to Be With Nobody But You,” a Floyd song that Malaco artist Dorothy Moore recorded on her 1976 Misty Blue album.

The new album also contains “Consider Me,” a classic Stax Eddie Floyd ballad that was an album track but never a single, plus two newer compositions: “Close to You” and “Head to Toe.”

“Working with Eddie and getting to know him by making this record has been a complete joy,” says co-producer Dinallo. “Eddie’s energy and enthusiasm has been and continues to be incredibly inspiring. Ducky and I were floored when he started singing. The sound of his voice coming back over the speakers gave us chills and made us howl with delight. In choosing the songs for this record, it hit me that I was surveying the history of soul music by digging through Eddie’s catalog of the past 50 years. With current neo-soul movement, it is only appropriate that one of the genre’s most important and influential songwriter and performer steps to the front with this record.”

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2008



STAX RECORDS TO RELEASE STAX DOES THE BEATLES AND STAX SINGS SONGS OF MOTOWN® RECORDS
Two volumes demonstrate the broad appeal of Motown and The Beatles, and how the artists at Stax could make them their own


LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Stax Records (now a division of Concord Music Group) will release Stax Does The Beatles and Stax Sings The Songs of Motown® Records on February 26. Stax, of course, was best known for creating its own songs — classics like “(Sittin’ On The) Dock of the Bay,” “Knock On Wood” and “Respect Yourself.” But in the hands of a Stax artist, a Beatles or Motown song found a new Southern groove, often redefining what would seem improbable to improve upon.

“I was moved by the Beatles,” explained Booker T. Jones of Booker T & the MGs, quoted in Rob Bowman’s Soulsville USA. “I thought they were doing really great things. Their records didn’t sound alike ever.” And thus Booker T & the MGs recorded the Beatles covers album titled McLemore Avenue, containing such songs as “Eleanor Rigby,” “Michelle” and “Lady Madonna,” all included on Stax Does The Beatles. MGs guitarist Steve Cropper called The Beatles “a cool group of superhumans. Hats off to the Beatles and thanks for the music.”

But Booker T & the MGs were by no means the only artists to turn to the Beatles as a song source. Isaac Hayes turned in a 12-minute version of “Something,” included here, on his 1970 album The Isaac Hayes Movement. Carla Thomas chose Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday” as part of her Live at the Bohemian Caverns sessions in Washington, DC. She had met McCartney in 1967 at London’s Speakeasy Club. Otis Redding’s version of “Day Tripper” became an immediate classic — the Fab Four’s riff lending itself famously to Stax’s horn section. Other prime Stax Beatles covers, contained here, emanated from David Porter, the Mar-Keys, Reggie Milner and John Gary Williams.

Album annotator Richie Unterberger writes, “While Stax was destined to be primarily remembered for the wealth of original soul classics it generated, Stax Does The Beatles reminds us that its artists were also able interpreters of music first performed outside the Southern soul genre.”

Liverpool wasn’t the only outside source of Stax hits. The Memphis label found equal reserves within the repertoire of its Detroit rival label, Motown, proven by the 15 tracks of Stax Sings Songs of Motown® Records. Joel Selvin, pop music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, who wrote the notes for the Motown covers album, noted: “In Detroit, Motown followed an automated approach to making records, influenced no doubt by founder Berry Gordy’s early work at the Ford plant, while in Memphis, the Stax musicians took a more organic tack.”

Yet when the shimmering teen pop of Detroit made it down to Stax’s Memphis studios, songs found a whole new life. Take, for instance, Margie Joseph’s soulful reading of the Supremes’ “Stop in the Name of Love.” The Staple Singers’ version of the Temptations’ minor hit, “You’ve Got To Earn It,” penned by Smokey Robinson, narrowly missed the R&B Top 10 in 1971. And blind soul singer Calvin Scott gave a gospel-tinged Southern workout to “Can I Get a Witness” for his album I’m Not Blind, I Just Can’t See.

As he did with the Beatles, Isaac Hayes re-imagined Motown with his deconstructed cover of the Jackson 5’s “Never Can Say Goodbye.” The song was a highlight of Hayes’ classic Black Moses album from 1971. Hayes also contributed production finesse to his frequent songwriting partner David Porter’s cover of the Stevie Wonder song “I Don’t Know Why I Love You,” featured on Porter’s 1970 Enterprise solo debut album.

Other Stax artists to cover Motown included Mavis Staples, Barbara Lewis, Billy Eckstine, the Mar-Keys, Fredrick Knight, O.B. McClinton, the Bar-Kays and the Soul Children.



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 19. 2007



NEW OTIS REDDING DOCUMENTARY TO RECEIVE WORLD THEATRICAL PREMIERE AT MODS & ROCKERS FILM FESTIVAL IN HOLLYWOOD . . . EVENT INCLUDES PANEL WITH LATE SOUL SINGER’S FAMILY AND FELLOW MUSICIANS
Widow Zelma Redding, Wayne Jackson of the Mar-Keys, Stax historian Rob Bowman plus film director and producer to participate in Q&A session following Monday, October 8 screening

HOLLYWOOD , Calif. — In a coda to this summer’s critically acclaimed Mods & Rockers Film Festival in Hollywood, the new Otis Redding film documentary Dreams To Remember: The Legacy Of Otis Redding will receive its World Theatrical Premiere at Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood, on Monday, October 8 at 8:00 p.m. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Zelma Redding (Otis’ widow), Wayne Jackson of the Mar-Keys, Grammy® Award-winning Stax historian Rob Bowman and the documentary’s directors David Peck and Phil Galloway.

Tickets for the premiere cost $10 for the general public, $8 students and seniors, $7 American Cinematheque members and are available through the festival website http://www.ModsAndRockers.com or at the theater box office in advance or at door.

The screening coincides with three notable events relating to Otis Redding. It heralds the release of Dreams To Remember: The Life Of Otis Redding as a DVD on the reactivated Stax label. It takes place as Stax Records marks its 50th anniversary. And it serves to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Redding’s tragically early death on December 10, 1967.

Produced by Reelin’ In The Years, Dreams To Remember: The Legacy Of Otis Redding features a wealth of staggering complete performances filmed throughout America and Europe, beginning with Otis singing one of his earliest hits, “Pain In My Heart,” and progressing through the artist’s Stax/Volt career. Included are complete performances of “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and a host of others; “Try A Little Tenderness” and “Respect” were taped at a local Cleveland television show less than 24 hours before Otis’ death.

The film also contains in-depth interviews with those who helped Otis write and create his incredible music: Steve Cropper, who co-wrote with Otis and played guitar on virtually every record he made at Stax; Wayne Jackson, the trumpet player for the Mar-Keys/Memphis Horns who also played on most of Otis’ recordings, and Jim Stewart, the founder of Stax Records, who gave his first interview in 13 years for this film. And there are stirring reminiscences from Otis’ wife Zelma and daughter Karla. These tender and insightful interviews paint a portrait of an amazing singer, artist, songwriter, and family man. The saga begins with memories of his first amateur talent contests and concludes with the touching recollections of the final days leading up to the tragic plane crash on December 10, 1967. In between are stories about Otis writing songs, recording at Stax and performing on stage (including the historic Monterey International Pop Festival).

For Dreams To Remember: The Legacy Of Otis Redding every effort has been made to locate the best possible sound and video; each of the performances has been re-transferred and re-mastered from the best-quality, original masters (some resting in the television vaults for more than 40 years). In the case of lip-sync performances, the original Stax master recordings have been used, replacing the original TV broadcast audio and making for a much more enjoyable viewing and listening experience.

The World Theatrical Premiere of Dreams to Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding is one of the highlights of this October’s Mods & Rockers mini-festival of music-related films. The short season also includes premieres of films featuring Jimi Hendrix, Nick Drake and Joy Division’s Ian Curtis. The screenings take place at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.

Following the premiere of Dreams to Remember and the Otis Redding panel discussion will be a screening of the recently discovered Stax/Volt Revue Live in Norway, 1967, featuring legendary live footage of classic Stax stars including Redding, Sam & Dave, Booker T & the MGs, Eddie Floyd, Arthur Conley and the Mar-Keys.

Martin Lewis, Co-Founder/Producer/Host of the Mods & Rockers Film festival: “Otis Redding was a towering talent in the music world whose achievements in just six short years continue to inspire. He was also a pioneer in breaking down racial barriers. I am thrilled that we are saluting him and his legacy with a World Premiere at this special season of the Mods & Rocker Film Festival. It’s also a personal thrill as I still recall the exhilaration of seeing Otis perform live in London in April 1967 — a memory I always cherish.”



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2007



STAX READIES RESPECT YOURSELF: THE STAX RECORDS STORY DVD FOR RELEASE OCTOBER 2
SAMUEL L. JACKSON–NARRATED DOCUMENTARY CHRONICLES THE BIRTH AND REBIRTH OF AMERICA’S GREATEST SOUL LABEL

Rare performances by Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Sam & Dave and Booker T & the MGs, Staple Singers, Rufus and Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd and more chart the rise of the “Memphis Soul Sound” during the Civil Rights Movement


LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Funky. Emotional. Raw. Powerful. That was soul music in the Civil Rights era and Stax Records did it like no other label. Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story traces the astonishing history of Stax, from a modest neighborhood hangout to a cultural and political empire.

Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story aired this summer on PBS’ Great Performances, earning raves from the media. Now, in its 50th anniversary year, Stax Records, reactivated by Concord Music Group, will release the DVD version of the documentary on October 2, 2007. It is available in the Anamorphic Widescreen format.

Respect Yourself was directed by the Grammy®-nominated team of Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville and is a production of Tremolo Productions, Concord Music Group and Thirteen/WNET New York. Samuel L. Jackson narrated the 113-minute documentary, which contains interviews with Isaac Hayes, Mavis Staples, Carla Thomas, Sam Moore, Booker T. Jones, Eddie Floyd and Jesse Jackson. Also featured are rarely seen full-length performances by Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs and Isaac Hayes, plus outtakes of footage from the legendary 1972 Wattstax concert. Included also is the first interview by Stax founder and co-owner Jim Stewart in 15 years, plus never-before-seen home movies and performances by Stax artists.

The package also adds bonus content not seen on the PBS airing: footage from the Stax Reunion rehearsal at SXSW 2007 in Austin, Texas, featuring Eddie Floyd, William Bell and Booker T & the MGs.

The Southern city of Memphis was a hotbed of racial tension, but that stopped at the doors of Stax Records. The open-door policy led to the formation of renowned house band Booker T & the MGs, one of America’s first interracial groups. Other artists like Otis Redding and Sam & Dave soon joined the roster, as well as songwriters Isaac Hayes and David Porter. With songs like “Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay,” “Soul Man” and “Knock on Wood,” Stax solidified its reputation as a hit-making machine, producing a massive catalog of Top 100 records.

Through all of this, the label overcame hustlers, bad business decisions, tragic deaths and a number of financial meltdowns. But with each reincarnation, Stax grew, branching out into film production and Broadway, and affirming its solidarity with the civil rights movement, before its demise in 1975.

Respect Yourself
provides first-hand accounts of what really happened on the streets and behind studio doors from the Stax musicians as well as label president Al Bell, Rev. Jesse Jackson and others. With rare performances, unreleased home movies and new recordings, filmmakers Gordon and Neville (The Emmy Award-winning Hank Williams: Honky Tony Blues) present the first comprehensive look at Stax Records, the greatest soul label of all time.

Respect Yourself explains why the studio's legacy matters. It is both a celebration and a cautionary tale,” wrote the Los Angeles Times. Echoed Daily Variety: “Without making a direct declaration, Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville's bracingly impressive docu Respect Yourself makes a great case for Stax Records as the greatest soul label ever.” And The New York Times added: “The documentary provides an essential account of auteurism in one of American music’s greatest eras.”

Chapters:
Introduction • McLemore Ave. • ‘Cause I Love You • The Mar-Keys • The Satellite Record Shop • The Barber Shop • Booker T. & The MGs • Otis Arrives • Hayes & Porter • Sam & Dave • The Lorraine Motel • The Stax/Volt Tour • Farewell To Otis • The Atlantic Deal • Your Good Thing Is About To End • Soul Limbo • Soul Explosion • Hot Buttered Soul • Baylor & Dino • Estelle Departs • Time Is Tight • Black Politics • The Staple Singers • Shaft • Wattstax • The Bloat • CBS • When Something Is Wrong • Coda • Bonus Chapter: Stax 2007 Reunion Rehearsal



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2007



CARLA THOMAS’ NEVER-BEFORE-RELEASED 1967 LIVE ALBUM, ‘LIVE AT THE BOHEMIAN CAVERNS,’ FINALLY TO BE ISSUED ON STAX

DC four-nighter captured the singer’s roots as well as an unseen jazz side. Donny Hathaway led the band and Rufus Thomas provided three songs.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — In 1967, Carla Thomas was the undisputed queen of soul. Her hit “B-A-B-Y” had hit No. 3 on Billboard’s R&B charts, with her duet with Otis Redding, “Tramp,” climbing to No. 2. As part of the Stax/Volt Revue tour of Europe, she had reached a whole new international audience. So when she played what she considered the most important U.S. performance of her career at Washington, D.C.’s prestigious jazz club the Bohemian Caverns, then-Stax president Al Bell and musician Donny Hathaway worked with her to ensure a career-making gig. It was to be her artistic tour de force — a look back at the singer’s R&B roots while pursuing an expansion into jazz.

Yet the album was inexplicably scrapped — deleted from the release schedule without notice. Finally, in the year of the 50th anniversary and reactivation of Stax Records, Carla Thomas’ Live at the Bohemian Caverns will be released, on September 18, 2007. The deluxe CD set contains liner notes by Stax historian Rob Bowman.

According to Al Bell, “(Carla) was wanting to kind of spread her wings and reach over into the jazz/folk world. It was something that was pulling away inside of her.” Washington, D.C. was both a jazz hub and home of Thomas’ alma mater (she attended Howard University as a graduate student in English). The premiere music venue of its day, the Bohemian Caverns had hosted Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and Wes Montgomery. For Thomas’ four-night stand, Donny Hathway hired the band and worked out a 20-song set that encompassed Tin Pan Alley jazz standards and Broadway tunes. In addition to “B-A-B-Y’ and “Gee Whiz” were Irving Berlin’s “It’s a Lovely Day Today,” Johnny Mercer’s “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” and “A Lovely Way To Spend an Evening,” made a hit by Frank Sinatra.

The effort did not go unnoticed by the Washington Post, which noted: “Young and pretty, she stands a good chance of avoiding the pitfall of becoming a passing fad and maturing into a fine vocalist.”

Following her performance, master of ceremonies Al Bell introduced Carla’s father, Rufus Thomas, who contributed a few songs of his own in keeping with the jazz milieu. Bowman describes it as “a joy-filled performance that embraces the African American blues tradition and perfectly complements Carla Thomas’ more uptown performance of standards.”

Meanwhile back in Memphis, the album was shelved. Stax LP catalog number 724 was re-assigned to Booker T & the MGs. Despite the time and expense that had been put into the Bohemian Caverns recording from the top ranks of Stax, the album was never released. No reason was given. Carla Thomas was heartbroken, and remained so well into the ‘80s when Bowman interviewed her.

Whatever the reasons it was withdrawn at the time, this musically ambitious and career-redefining album will finally make it to the marketplace – 40 years late – on September 18.



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2007



DREAMS TO REMEMBER: THE LEGACY OF OTIS REDDING DVD TO BE RELEASED SEPTEMBER 18


16 Vintage Television Performances by the Legendary Soul Singer Now Available for the First Time on DVD! Includes 40 Minutes of New Interviews Documenting His Life and Work.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Otis’ death and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stax Records, Reelin’ In The Years Productions and Stax Records (a division of Concord Music Group) are proud to announce the September 18, 2007 release of Dreams To Remember: The Legacy Of Otis Redding on DVD. Featured for the first time on this 90-minute DVD are 16 classic full-length performances by one of the greatest singers and performers of all time. Interspersed between the performances are more than 40 minutes of exclusive new interviews documenting Otis’ incredible life and career. Issued with the full cooperation of his estate, this is the first official DVD anthology of classic archival Otis Redding television performances.

Dreams To Remember: The Legacy Of Otis Redding includes a wealth of staggering performances filmed throughout America and Europe beginning with Otis singing one of his earliest hits, “Pain In My Heart” and progressing through the artist’s Stax/Volt career including complete performances of “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and a host of others. The final two performances are “Try A Little Tenderness” and “Respect,” taped at a local Cleveland television show less than 24 hours before Otis’ death.

Continuing in the tradition of DVDs produced by Reelin’ In The Years such as The Temptations — Get Ready! The Definitive Performances 1965-1972 (RIAA certified platinum) and Marvin Gaye — The Real Thing In Performance 1964-1981 (RIAA certified gold), Dreams To Remember: The Legacy Of Otis Redding features classic performances with re-mastered sound and video as well as in-depth interviews with those who helped Otis write and create his incredible music with stirring reminiscences from his wife Zelma and daughter Karla. Also interviewed are Steve Cropper, who co-wrote with Otis and played guitar on virtually every record he made at Stax; Wayne Jackson, the trumpet player for the Mar-Keys/Memphis Horns who also played on most of Otis’ recordings, and Jim Stewart, the founder of Stax Records, who gave his first interview in 13 years for this DVD. These tender and insightful interviews paint a portrait of Otis as an amazing singer, artist, songwriter, and family man. The story begins with memories of his first amateur talent contests and concludes with the touching recollections of the final days leading up to the tragic plane crash on December 10, 1967. In between are stories about Otis writing songs, recording at Stax and performing on stage (including the historic Monterey Pop Festival.)

Dreams To Remember: The Legacy Of Otis Redding also features a 24-page booklet with an extensive essay by GRAMMY® award-winning writer Rob Bowman (author of Soulsville U.S.A.: The Story Of Stax Records), who also conducted the interviews and co-produced this DVD. In addition, the booklet includes rare photographs and memorabilia. Featured in the bonus section is a photo gallery with never-before-seen images from the Redding family’s personal archives and a recently discovered radio interview recorded in London in 1966. Also, created exclusively for the DVD, is a new video for “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” (a song that wasn’t completed until shortly after Otis’ passing).For Dreams To Remember: The Legacy Of Otis Redding every effort has been made to locate the best possible sound and video; each of the performances has been re-transferred and re-mastered from the best-quality, original masters (some resting in the television vaults for more than 40 years). In the case of lip-sync performances, the original Stax master recordings have been used, replacing the original TV broadcast audio and making for a much more enjoyable viewing and listening experience.

Dreams To Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding also marks the 50th anniversary and reactivation of Stax Records. Concord Music Group purchased Stax Records in 2004 and is in the midst of a year-long celebration that also includes several reissue CDs, a documentary (Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story, that premiered on PBS on August 1) and the re-signing of veteran Isaac Hayes and Angie Stone, as well as several new artists, who will usher in a new era of soul music. For the latest Stax 50th anniversary news, please visit http://www.stax50.com .

Reelin' In The Years Productions LLC is the world’s largest music footage library and has produced over 30 DVD releases including the four-volume The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1969 DVD series. Released to universal critical acclaim, Volume One was nominated for a GRAMMY® award in the category of “Best Long Form Music Video.” 2006 saw the release of the certified-platinum The Temptations — Get Ready, The Definitive Performances 1965–1972, the certified-gold Marvin Gaye — The Real Thing In Performance 1964–1981 and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles — Definitive Performances 1963–1987, the first official DVD anthologies of classic archival television performances by Motown artists. Also in 2006 were the first nine DVDs in the Jazz Icons™ series with the next seven DVDs in the series to be released in September 2007. For further information, please visit http://www.reelinintheyears.com or http://www.jazzicons.com .

Producers David Peck, Phil Galloway and Rob Bowman are available for interviews.


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2007

STAX REISSUES LEGENDARY WATTSTAX SOUNDTRACK ON THREE CDs, MORE THAN THREE HOURS OF MUSIC INCLUDING PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED TRACKS

Set to Include Performances by Stax luminaries Isaac Hayes, Staple Singers, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Albert King, Little Milton, Johnnie Taylor, Bar-Kays, William Bell, Eddie Floyd, David Porter, The Emotions, The Soul Children, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – In the summer of 1972, Stax Records had an idea that was larger than life. Stax’s co-owner, Al Bell, had wanted to expand the soul label’s West Coast presence and develop its Stax Films arm. The ideal way to do both was to stage the biggest soul concert in history — termed by one former staff member “the black Woodstock” — right in the center of South Central Los Angeles, a vast portion of which had been destroyed by fire in the Watts Riots. The concert, called Wattstax, proved a crowning moment for Stax as 112,000 people united at the Los Angeles Coliseum in a spirit of joy, pride and celebration. The resultant movie was a blockbuster and plays to this date in many music film festivals. And now the original two-LP soundtrack has been expanded to three CDs, including material from the original Wattstax album (which sold seven million copies in the SoundScan era alone) as well as from its sequel, Wattstax: The Living Word, along with samplings from Wattstax-related individual artist albums released in 1972-73.

On August 28, Stax Records — reactivated by new owner Concord Music Group — will release the first domestic reissue of the complete Wattstax soundtrack, housed in a collectible Digipack featuring rare photographs and reproductions of vintage Wattstax-era posters. The package also contains a multi-page booklet on the story of Wattstax by noted soul music historian Rob Bowman. List price is $24.98. Digitally remastered from the original tapes, the package is one of the highlights of Stax’s 50th anniversary celebration, which has also featured live concerts, a film to be premiered on PBS, a film festival and an array of reissues and DVDs.

The expanded Wattstax volume features many Stax artists whose careers were surging in the early ‘70s: namely Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, The Bar-Kays, The Emotions, Albert King, Little Milton, The Rance Allen Group, David Porter, The Soul Children, Mel & Tim, Fredrick Knight, Deborah Manning, Little Sonny and Richard Pryor. The set includes such hits as “Respect Yourself,” “I’ll Take You There,” “Gee Whiz,” “Theme from Shaft,” “Son of Shaft,” “Do The Funky Chicken,” “Backfield in Motion,” “Knock On Wood,” “Steal Away” and more — 47 songs in all on three CDs.

In addition to music from the concert, Stax filmed and recorded its artists all around town in clubs, churches and even in the studio. The expanded Wattstax anthology includes the best of the live festival from Wattstax and Wattstax: The Living Word plus a slew of previously unreleased festival performances, selected tracks from the club and church recordings staged during the week of the festival, and selected bits by comedian Richard Pryor that were recorded at the Summit Club in Los Angeles. Pryor’s contributions were originally used in the Wattstax film to connect the music performances with man-on-the-street commentary on issues that were then pertinent to black America. Included also is an introduction by the Rev. Jesse Jackson – himself a Stax spoken-word recording artist at the time.

Wattstax was hoped to be the first step in a series of urban festivals and movies to be produced by Stax, but sequels were never to materialize. The festival hit the zeitgeist of black America at that point in time. And 35 hot summers after the festival, the music sounds as fresh as ever.

WATTSTAX TRACK LIST

Disc One
Salvation Symphony - Dale Warren & The Wattstax ’72 Orchestra
Introduction - Rev. Jesse Jackson
Lift Every Voice And Sing - Kim Weston
Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom-Boom) - The Staple Singers
Are You Sure? - The Staple Singers
I Like The Things About Me - Staple Singers
Respect Yourself - The Staple Singers
I’ll Take You There - The Staple Singers
Precious Lord, Take My Hand - Deborah Manning
Better Get A Move On - Louise McCord
Them Hot Pants - Lee Sain
Wade In The Water - Little Sonny
I Forgot To Be Your Lover - William Bell
Explain It To Her Mama - The Temprees
I’ve Been Lonely (For So Long) - Frederick Knight
The Newcombers - Pin The Tail On The Donkey
Knock On Wood - Eddie Floyd

Disc Two
Peace Be Still - The Emotions
Old Time Religion - The Golden 13
Lying On The Truth -The Rance Allen Group
Up Above My Head -The Rance Allen Group
Son of Shaft/Feel It - The Bar-Kays
In The Hole -The Bar-Kays
I Can’t Turn You Loose - The Bar-Kays
Introduction - The David Porter Show
Ain’t That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One) - David Porter
Can’t See You When I Want To - David Porter
Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand) - David Porter
Niggas - Richard Pryor
Arrest/Lineup - Richard Pryor
So I Can Love You - The Emotions
Group Introduction / Show Me How - The Emotions

Disc Three
Open The Door To Your Heart - Little Milton
Backfield In Motion - Mel & Tim
Steal Away - Jonnie Taylor
Killing Floor - Albert King
Pick Up The Pieces - Carla Thomas
I Like What You’re Doing (To Me) - Carla Thomas
B-A-B-Y - Carla Thomas
Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes) - Carla Thomas
I Have A God Who Loves - Carla Thomas
The Breakdown - Rufus Thomas
Do The Funky Chicken - Rufus Thomas
Do The Funky Penguin - Rufus Thomas
I Don’t Know What This World Is Coming To - The Soul Children
Hearsay - The Soul Children
Theme From Shaft - Isaac Hayes

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2007

GREAT PERFORMANCES CELEBRATES THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY – AND REBIRTH – OF AMERICA’S PREEMINENT SOUL MUSIC LABEL WITH RESPECT YOURSELF: THE STAX RECORDS STORY, PREMIERING AUGUST 1 ON PBS

Classic Hits By Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MGs, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Isaac Hayes, And Others Chart The Rise Of The “Memphis Sound” During The Heart Of The Civil Rights Movement


In 1957, a square, white bank teller who knew nothing about African- American music launched a record label with only a tape recorder in a barn on the outskirts of Memphis, Tennessee. Over the next two decades, the racially-integrated Stax studio – which had moved to a theater in South Memphis by 1960 – would produce a string of hits that defined the “Memphis Sound”: “Soul Man,” “, (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” “, Green Onions,” “, Midnight Hour,” “, I’ll Take You There,” “, Respect Yourself,” “, Theme from Shaft,”‘Shaft’, and many more.

“We were so busy working and having fun that we didn’t realize the impact that we were creating at the time,” says Stax superstar Isaac Hayes. Stax Records would become one of the largest and most successful black-owned companies in the nation and a virtual soundtrack to the Civil Rights movement before succumbing in 1975 to financial and legal battles.

Now, Stax is back for a 50th anniversary re-launch, and GREAT PERFORMANCES will “take you there” with Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story, premiering Wednesday, August 1 at 9 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings). Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, the film detailswill detail the story behind the legendary label that launched a who’s-who of soul music greats: Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, the Staple Singers, Isaac Hayes, Eddie Floyd, Carla and Rufus Thomas, Albert King, and Booker T. and the MGs, to name a just a few.

Respect Yourself rejoins reunites producer-directors Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville, whose American MastersAMERICAN MASTERS documentary Muddy Waters: Can’t Be Satisfied was a Grammy nominee. Gordon, the foremost authority on Memphis music, wrote The Road to Memphis (an episode of Martin Scorsese Presents The the Blues) and five books including It Came From Memphis (Simon & Schuster). Neville is a leading music documentary filmmaker whose works include the Emmy-winning American MastersAMERICAN MASTERS Hank Williams: Honky-Tonk Blues as well as the authoritative films about Sam Phillips, The Brill Building, and Lieber & Stoller.

Working closely with the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis, the filmmakers gained access to an unprecedented wealth of source materials, including never-before-seen home movies by Stax artists; outtakes of footage from the legendary 1972 WattStax concert; and lost performances by Otis Redding, Booker T. and the MGs, Isaac Hayes, and others. All the key players are interviewed in the film: Isaac Hayes, Mavis Staples, Carla Thomas, Sam Moore, Booker T. Jones, members of the MGs, Eddie Floyd, and Jesse Jackson, – who, along with Richard Pryor, recorded spoken-word albums for Stax.

In addition, Respect Yourself features the first interview given by Stax founder and co-owner Jim Stewart in 15 years. Other Stax movers-and-shakers also weigh in, from co-owner Al Bell and songwriter David Porter to avowed Stax fans Elvis Costello and Bono..

This GREAT PERFORMANCES program coincides with the label’s celebrates the re-launch in December 2006, of the Stax label. To mark this milestone comeback and the label’s 50th anniversary, special Stax Revue concerts are being mounted across the country, and Concord Records, which acquired the label, has been issuing new albums and re-releasing classics from the original catalogue.

GREAT PERFORMANCES Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story was produced by Tremolo Productions, Concord Music Group and Thirteen/WNET New York. Bill O’Donnell is director of program development for GREAT PERFORMANCES. John Walker is senior producer for music; David Horn is executive producer of the broadcast.

GREAT PERFORMANCES is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, public television viewers, and PBS. Major corporate funding is provided by UBS, a global leader in wealth management, investment banking and asset management. You & Us. UBS. Additional funding for Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story is provided by The Irene Diamond Fund and the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust.

Visit GREAT PERFORMANCES online at http://www.thirteen.org/ and http://www.pbs.org/ for additional information about this and other GREAT PERFORMANCES programs. The colorful Web companion contains a wide variety of images, in-depth information about the programs, and activities for teachers, including lesson plans, tips and resources.


• • •


Thirteen/WNET New York is one of the key program providers for public television, bringing such acclaimed series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, Wide Angle, Secrets of the Dead, NOW With David Brancaccio, and Cyberchase – as well as the work of Bill Moyers – to audiences nationwide. As the flagship public broadcaster in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut metro area, Thirteen reaches millions of viewers each week, airing the best of American public television along with its own local productions such as The Ethnic Heritage Specials, The Thirteen Walking Tours, New York Voices, and Reel New York. Thirteen extends the impact of its television productions through educational and community outreach projects – including the Celebration of Teaching and Learning – as well as Web sites and other digital media platforms. More information can be found at http://www.thirteen.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2007



CHUCK D AND RANDY JACKSON TAPPED TO HOST “50 YEARS OF STAX” BENEFIT UNITING LEGENDARY SOUL STARS ONSTAGE AT MEMPHIS’ ORPHEUM THEATER ON JUNE 22


Isaac Hayes, Booker T & the MGs, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, Mavis Staples, Mable John, the Soul Children, Angie Stone and more confirmed to appear

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – In an unparalleled celebration of Stax Records’ 50th anniversary, the heart and soul of the legendary label’s lineup will reunite onstage for “50 Years of Stax: A Concert To Benefit the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.” The event will be held Friday, June 22 at Memphis’ historic Orpheum Theater at the foot of Beale Street.

Just confirmed as hosts of the show are Chuck D (Public Enemy) and Randy Jackson (renowned producer, songwriter and co-host of “American Idol”).

Artist confirmations include Isaac Hayes, Booker T & the MGs (featuring Steve Cropper & Duck Dunn), Mavis Staples, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, the Soul Children, the Reddings (honoring the legacy of their father Otis Redding) plus the following artists signed to the reactivated Stax label: Angie Stone, N’dambi, Soulive and Lalah Hathaway. The evening will also feature many late-breaking surprise appearances.

Commented Randy Jackson, “I am honored to be a part of this amazing music legacy. Stax records is the foundation that R&B was built on. The legendary artists that Stax built are such a huge part of my music roots.”

Chuck D added: “The logo of Stax says it all. That finger snap graphic brings a funky sound effect by just looking at it. With it comes a catalog of soul heroes and heroines whose heart, souls, and passions still echo across this planet today.”

Founded by Jim Stewart (the “ST”) in 1957, and co-owned by Estelle Axton (the “AX”), Stax’s contribution to popular music, both sonically and socially, continues to be felt to this day. Stax, a racially integrated label in a then notoriously segregated city, released hit after hit from such seminal soul artists as Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs, the Bar-Kays, Isaac Hayes, Sam & Dave, the Staple Singers, Rufus and Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Taylor, and William Bell among many, many others. The Stax studio, in a cavernous former movie theatre with a sloping floor, featured an atypical layout with no directly parallel surfaces causing sound waves to “ping pong” around the room, resulting in a very live, reverberant sound. The Stax studio sonics -- combined with the prominent use of horns, a heavy gospel influence, uniquely emotional vocal deliveries, and a delayed backbeat -- resulted in what came to be recognized as the “Stax Sound.”

The Stax Sound defined such classic compositions as “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay,” “Respect Yourself,” “Hold On I’m Comin’,” “Mr. Big Stuff,” “Soul Man,” “Green Onions,” “Knock on Wood” and “I’ll Take You There.”

This year, on Stax’s 50th anniversary, Concord Music Group announced the relaunch of Stax Records as the creative home for present-day soul artists (Angie Stone, Soulive, Lalah Hathaway and Leon Ware), alongside heritage artists such as Isaac Hayes, who has now returned to the label home of his hits. Throughout the year Stax is participating in a reissue campaign that includes the just released “Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration” 2-CD deluxe box, new individual artist “Best Of” CDs, and many rare or currently unavailable Stax albums, from such artists as Carla Thomas, the Staples Singers, Booker T and the MGs, Isaac Hayes and much more. In addition, a documentary film, Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story, a “Great Performances” special from Thirteen/WNET New York, will have its broadcast premiere on Wednesday, August 1 at 9 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings).

Proceeds from the Orpheum show will benefit the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the world’s only soul music museum, located at the site of the old Stax headquarters on Memphis’ historic McLemore Avenue. The museum’s labyrinth of exhibits-- including an award-winning introductory documentary film, an authentic 100-year-old Mississippi Delta church that was home to the gospel roots of soul music, original studio equipment, costumes, artwork and Isaac’s Hayes peacock-blue Cadillac--promote and preserve the legacy of American soul music and its contributions internationally.

A limited number of Golden Circle tickets to the event are available for $1,000 each. Golden Circle admission will include VIP orchestra seating at the Orpheum, VIP parking and a pre-show private party at the Orpheum Broadway Club, a gala after party at the Gibson Lounge featuring performances by Stax artists and friends, a private celebrity tour of the Museum, the 50th Anniversary Stax CD box set, a lithographed poster, and a commemorative Stax T-shirt.

According to Deanie Parker, former president of the Soulsville Foundation as well as an employee of Stax Records from 1963-75: “These masterful performers are legendary, and they found their fame in Soulsville USA - Memphis. I’ve got an intuition that Memphis is going to celebrate Stax Records this June 22nd like there’s no tomorrow.” Isaac Hayes, a key artist both in Stax’s past and future, adds: “I am excited to be part of this concert . . .it will be like old times!””

Tickets for the “50 Years of Stax” show are on sale now, and may be purchased at Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com).


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2007



“50 YEARS OF STAX” BENEFIT UNITES LEGENDARY SOUL STARS ONSTAGE AT MEMPHIS’ ORPHEUM THEATER ON JUNE 22


Isaac Hayes, Booker T & the MGs, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, Mavis Staples, Mable John, the Soul Children, Angie Stone and more confirmed to appear


MEMPHIS, Tenn. – In an unparalleled celebration of Stax Records’ 50th anniversary, the heart and soul of the legendary label’s lineup will reunite onstage for “50 Years of Stax: A Concert To Benefit the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.” The event will be held Friday, June 22 at Memphis’ Orpheum Theater at the foot of Beale Street.

Early artist confirmations include Isaac Hayes, Booker T & the MGs (featuring Steve Cropper & Duck Dunn), Eddie Floyd, William Bell, Mavis Staples, the Soul Children, Mable John, the Reddings (honoring the legacy of their father Otis Redding) and special guest star Angie Stone. Additional Stax stars and special guests will be announced shortly.

Founded by Jim Stewart (the “ST”) in 1957, and co-owned by Estelle Axton (the “AX”), Stax’s contribution to popular music, both sonically and socially, continues to be felt to this day. Stax, a racially integrated label in a then notoriously segregated city, released hit after hit from such seminal soul artists as Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs, the Bar-Kays, Isaac Hayes, Sam & Dave, the Staple Singers, Rufus and Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Taylor, and William Bell amongst many, many others. The Stax studio, in a cavernous former theatre with a sloping floor, featured an atypical layout with no directly parallel surfaces where soundwaves would “ping pong” around the room, resulting in a very live, reverberant sound. The Stax studio sonics-- combined with the prominent use of horns, a heavy gospel influence, uniquely emotional vocal deliveries, and a delayed backbeat-- resulted in what came to be recognized as the “Stax Sound.”

The Stax Sound defined such classic compositions as “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay,” “Respect Yourself,” “Hold On I’m Comin’,” “Mr. Big Stuff,” “Soul Man,” “Green Onions,” “Knock on Wood” and “I’ll Take You There.”

This year, on Stax’s 50th anniversary, Concord Music Group announced the relaunch of Stax Records as the creative home for present-day soul stars (Angie Stone, Soulive, Lalah Hathaway and Leon Ware), alongside heritage artists such as Isaac Hayes, who has now returned to the label home of his hits. Throughout the year Stax is participating in a reissue campaign that includes the just released “Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration” 2 CD Deluxe Box, new individual artist “Best Of” CDs, and many rare or currently unavailable Stax albums, from such artists as Carla Thomas, the Staples Singers, Booker T and the MGs, Isaac Hayes and much more.

Proceeds from the Orpheum show will benefit the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the world’s only soul music museum, located at the site of the old Stax headquarters on Memphis’ historic McLemore Avenue. The museum’s labyrinth of exhibits-- including an award-winning introductory documentary film, an authentic 100-year-old Mississippi Delta church that was home to the gospel roots of soul music, original studio equipment, costumes, artwork and Isaac’s Hayes peacock-blue Cadillac--promote and preserve the legacy of American soul music and its contributions internationally.

A limited number of Golden Circle tickets to the event will be available for $1,000 each. Golden Circle admission will include VIP orchestra seating at the Orpheum, VIP parking and shuttle service, a pre-show private party at the Orpheum Broadway Club, a gala after party at the Gibson Lounge featuring performances by Stax artists and friends, a private celebrity tour of the Museum, the 50th Anniversary Stax CD box set, a lithographed poster, and a commemorative Stax T-shirt.

According to Deanie Parker, former president of the Soulsville Foundation as well as an employee of Stax Records from 1963-75: “These masterful performers are legendary, and they found their fame in Soulsville USA - Memphis. I’ve got an intuition that Memphis is going to celebrate Stax Records this June 22nd like there’s no tomorrow.”

Isaac Hayes, a key artist both in Stax’s past and future, adds: “I am excited to be part of this concert . . .it will be like old times!””

Tickets for the “50 Years of Stax” show go on sale on Monday, May 7, and may be purchased at Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com).


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2007

CARLA THOMAS’ THE QUEEN ALONE REISSUED IN DELUXE EXPANDED EDITION ON STAX RECORDS

Queen of Memphis Soul looked to soul stylings of Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia on this 1969 album, which is reissued with four previously unreleased tracks


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Carla Thomas became famous thanks to several great singles on Stax Records: “Gee Whiz,” “B-A-B-Y,” “Let Me Be Good To You” and a duet with Otis Redding, “Tramp.” In 1969, she recorded The Queen Alone, produced by Stax co-founder and president Jim Stewart, in which the Queen of Memphis Soul proved that she was keenly aware of the uptown soul music being produced in the industrial north. The album produced two hits — “Something Good (is Going to Happen to You),” penned by the hot team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter, which notched No. 29 on Billboard’s R&B singles chart, and “I’ll Always Have Faith in You,” written by Eddie Floyd with Stax’s then-promotion man Al Bell, which reached No. 11.

The classic soul album will be reissued on the reactivated Stax Records through Concord Music Group on March 20 as part of the label’s yearlong series of 50th Anniversary events. The remastered reissue contains four previously unreleased tracks, plus liner notes by Stax historian Rob Bowman, author of the award-winning Soulsville U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records.

Other songwriters of note contributed tunes to The Queen Alone. The lead track, “Any Day Now,” was co-written by Burt Bacharach and Bob Hilliard and was a hit for Chuck Jackson in 1962. It is given the Stax treatment here, with a snare, organ and small string section providing a more soulful arrangement than on the original pop hit. Stax staff writer Joe Shamwell joined with Hayes and Porter to write “Stop Thief,” with the Memphis Horns (Andrew Love and Joe Arnold) chiming in against Booker T. Jones’ piano work. Steve Cropper, Stax’s guitar MVP and member of Booker T & the MGs, joined Hayes & Porter on “I Take It To My Baby.”

In addition to the 11 tracks on the original album, the reissue of The Queen Alone contains five tracks that were omitted on the original vinyl version: “Me and My Clock,” “Same Thing,” “Your Love Indeed (Alternate Take),” “I Want To Know (Take 2)” and “I Wonder About Love.”
Concord Music Group, which acquired the legendary Memphis label as part of its purchase of Fantasy Records in 2004, will also honor Stax’s 50th year by releasing definitive collections, rare performances, unreleased tracks and more from the Memphis R&B imprint in deluxe new packages. Plans for digital releases, remixes and other projects are also in the works; the anniversary year’s releases are slated to include more than 20 CDs and DVDs.

In addition, Concord Music Group will reactivate Stax this year as a dynamic new force in contemporary R&B music committed to the continuing the legacy of the original legendary label. The first new Stax signings are Isaac Hayes, Angie Stone and Soulive.

 


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2007



STAX RECORDS REVUE HOSTED BY ISAAC HAYES AT FAMED ANTONE’S, THE HIGHLIGHT OF SXSW 2007 MARCH 15 IN AUSTIN, TEXAS

Booker T & the MGs, William Bell, Eddie Floyd and surprise guests will join together for 90-minute SXSW set hosted by Isaac Hayes to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Stax Records


AUSTIN, Texas — The 50th anniversary of Stax Records along with the label’s re-activation-in-full will be celebrated at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music conference with a live reunion of some of Stax’s biggest stars. Booker T & the MGs (featuring Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn), William Bell, Eddie Floyd and surprise guests will unite for a 90-minute set scheduled to take place Thursday, March 15, 7:30pm -9:007:30 - 9 p.m., at Austin’s legendary Anton’es nightclub, 213 W. 5th St. in Austin. Admission will be open to all SXSW badge and wristband holders.

The show will also celebrate the March 13 release of Stax 50, a deluxe edition 50-song, 2-CD box set titled Stax 50: A 50th Anniversary Celebration. The most comprehensive Stax hits collection ever — featuring for the first time all major Stax hit singles — Stax 50 will formally inaugurate Concord Music’s re-launch of the legendary soul label. The set is packaged in a hardcover box with lenticular cover art of the famous snapping finger logo. The collection features Stax stalwarts, Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs, Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, Sam & Dave , The Dramatics, Little Milton, The Mar-Keys, Mel & Tim, Jean Knight, and The Emotions.

Concord Music Group recently announced a year of activity that will include deluxe reissues of classic albums and rarities, a live Stax summit in Memphis in June, and a PBS documentary set to this summer.

In addition, Concord Music Group is reactivating Stax this year as a forward looking contemporary soul label carrying on the famed labels’ tradition, heritage and legacy. The first new Stax signings are Isaac Hayes, Angie Stone, Soulive and Leon Ware among others.

Stax Records holds a critical place in American music history as one of the most popular soul music record labels of all time — second only to Motown in sales and influence, but first in gritty, raw, Southern-steeped sounds. Stax placed more than 167 hit songs in Billboard’s Hot 100 pop charts as well as a staggering 243 hits on the R&B charts. In addition to the “core” artists who appear on Stax 50, the label was also home to recordings by Albert King, Big Star, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Moms Mabley and even the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Concord Music Group, which acquired the legendary Memphis label as part of its purchase of Fantasy Records in 2004, will also honor Stax’s 50th year by releasing definitive collections, rare performances, unreleased tracks and more from the Memphis R&B imprint in deluxe new packages. Plans for digital releases, remixes and other projects are also in the works; the anniversary year’s releases are slated to include more than 20 CDs and DVDs.

Today at the original site of Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee is the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and Stax Music Academy. The only soul music museum in the world, the Stax Museum is a 17,000-square-foot facility with more than 2,000 exhibits, videos, films, photographs, musical instruments, stage costumes, automobiles, and other artifacts that tell the fascinating story of Stax Records as well as other soul music labels. Concord Music Group’s new releases on Stax Records may be purchased in the museum’s Satellite Record and Gift Shop.

The adjacent Stax Music Academy is a unique learning city where Stax Records is being carried into the future by mentoring primarily at-risk urban youth through music education.


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2007



STAX REISSUES JOHNNIE TAYLOR’S LIVE ALBUM, ‘LIVE AT THE SUMMIT CLUB,’ RECORDED IN SOUTH L.A. CLUB AT TIME OF WATTSTAX

Recorded in 1972, the album accents the soul great’s blues side

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Johnnie Taylor, one of the greatest soul singers who ever lived, was at the peak of his game on September 23, 1972, when he sang to an effusive crowd at the now-defunct Summit Club in South Los Angeles. The show was captured on tape and will be reissued February 20 by Stax Records as Johnnie Taylor: Live at the Summit Club.

The live album, produced by Al Bell, the then-president of Stax Records, was recorded at the time of the historic two-day Wattstax concert at nearby Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Wattstax bill was filled, so Stax put many of its artists into nearby clubs where they were taped and filmed.

As well as including his biggest hits (“Who’s Making Love,” “Jody’s Got Your Girl and Gone”), the album contains six previously unreleased tracks that emphasize the blues side of Taylor’s repertoire. Label-mate Rufus Thomas said of Taylor in his introduction: “When you speak of blues, this is a man who knows ‘em from the letter A to the letter Z.”

Taylor recorded eight straight Top 10 R&B hits, though by 1971 he had been eclipsed by Isaac Hayes and the Staple Singers as the label’s top hitmakers. Eventually he moved from Stax to Columbia, where he enjoyed one more big hit, “Disco Lady,” before winding down his recording career at Malaco with steady work on the Chitlin’ Circuit.

While this recording found Taylor was at the peak of his faculties, his band unfortunately was not in such top form. The musicians messed up again and again — not so much that the audience really noticed, though Taylor did chastise them from time to time. The flaws and the way Taylor handled them without interrupting the flow make for fascinating — and ultimately satisfying — listening. The Arkansas-born vocalist considered himself “a salesman of songs,” and he wasn’t about to allow adverse circumstances to prevent him from driving home the messages of six of his biggest hits (including two very different versions of “Steal Away”) and extended treatments of the blues songs “Little Bluebird” and “Hello Sundown.” Six of the nine performances on the reissue, which was produced by Stuart Kremsky, are entirely new to disc.

Concord Music Group, which acquired the legendary Memphis label as part of its purchase of Fantasy Records in 2004, will also honor Stax’s 50th year by releasing definitive collections, rare performances, unreleased tracks and more from the Memphis R&B imprint in deluxe new packages. Plans for digital releases, remixes and other projects are also in the works; the anniversary year’s releases are slated to include more than 20 CDs and DVDs.

In addition, Concord Music Group will reactivate Stax this year as a dynamic new force in contemporary R&B music committed to the continuing the legacy of the original legendary label. The first new Stax signings are Isaac Hayes, Angie Stone and Soulive.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19th, 2007



STAX RECORDS/CONCORD MUSIC GROUP TO ISSUE STAX 50: A 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION BOX SET

Deluxe 2-CD set, out March 13, 2007, includes all the major Stax hits, digitally remastered with extensive liner notes

Features Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Rufus & Carla Thomas, Booker T & the MGs, Isaac Hayes, Staple Singers, Johnnie Taylor, Little Milton and many more

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — The 50th anniversary of the legendary soul label Stax Records will kick off with the release of a deluxe edition 50-song, 2-CD box set titled Stax 50: A 50th Anniversary Celebration. The most comprehensive Stax hits collection ever — featuring for the first time all major Stax hit singles — Stax 50 will formally inaugurate Concord Music’s re-launch of Stax. The set is packaged in a hardcover box with lenticular cover art of the famous snapping finger logo. Street date is set for March 13, 2007.

Last month, Concord Music Group announced a year of activity that will include deluxe reissues, special events and the reactivation of the legendary label with a slate of new artist signings.

Stax 50 features hits from the Memphis label’s heyday of the 1960s and ‘70s, including the many legendary artists who jointly created the “Stax sound,” among them Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs, Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, The Dramatics, Little Milton, The Mar-Keys, Mel & Tim, Jean Knight, and The Emotions.

Stax Records holds a critical place in American music history as one of the most popular soul music record labels of all time — second only to Motown in sales and influence, but first in gritty, raw, Southern-steeped soul music. Stax placed more than 167 hit songs in Billboard’s Hot 100 pop charts as well as a staggering 243 hits on the R&B charts. In addition to the “core” artists who appear on Stax 50, the label was also home to recordings by Albert King, Big Star, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Moms Mabley and even the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

As noted in Stax historian Rob Bowman’s extensive liner notes for the box, “The story of Stax Records is about as improbable and unforeseeable as any tale could possibly be.” The label was launched in Memphis by a white country fiddler named Jim Stewart and his sister, Estelle Axton. The name came from combining the first two letters of each of their last names. Originally known as Satellite Records, with a roster that spanned pop to blues to rockabilly, the label’s 1960 name change to Stax cemented the label’s commitment to R&B and soul, commencing with Rufus & Carla Thomas’ “’Cause I Love You.” Within a short time, Stax, based in a former movie theater on Memphis’ McLemore Avenue, grew into a self-contained indie powerhouse with its own studio, A&R staff, writers, producers and house band.

Concord Music Group, which acquired the legendary Memphis label as part of its purchase of Fantasy Records in 2004, will also honor Stax’s 50th year by releasing definitive collections, rare performances, unreleased tracks and more from the Memphis R&B imprint in deluxe new packages. Plans for digital releases, remixes and other projects are also in the works; the anniversary year’s releases are slated to include more than 20 CDs and DVDs.

In addition, Concord Music Group will reactivate Stax this year as a dynamic new force in contemporary R&B music committed to the power and legacy of their forbearers. The first new Stax signings are Isaac Hayes and Angie Stone.

TRACK LIST

DISC ONE

1. CARLA THOMAS – “Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)”
2. THE MAR-KEYS – “Last Night”
3. WILLIAM BELL – “You Don't Miss Your Water”
4. BOOKER T. & THE MGs – “Green Onions”
5. RUFUS THOMAS – “Walking the Dog”
6. OTIS REDDING – “I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)”
7. THE ASTORS – “Candy”
8. OTIS REDDING – “Respect”
9. SAM & DAVE – “You Don't Know Like I Know”
10. THE MAD LADS – “I Want Someone”
11. SAM & DAVE – “Hold On I'm Comin’”
12. CARLA THOMAS – “Let Me Be Good To You”
13. MABLE JOHN – “Your Good Thing (Is About To End)”
14. EDDIE FLOYD – “Knock on Wood”
15. CARLA THOMAS – “B-A-B-Y”
16. OTIS & CARLA – “Tramp”
17. THE BAR-KEYS – “Soul Finger”
18. ALBERT KING – “Born Under a Bad Sign”
19. SAM & DAVE – “Soul Man”
20. OTIS REDDING – “(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay”
21. OLLIE & THE NIGHTINGALES – “I Got a Sure Thing”
22. BOOKER T. & THE MGs – “Soul Limbo”
23. EDDIE FLOYD – “I've Never Found a Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)”
24. LINDA LYNDELL – “What a Man”
25. WILLIAM BELL & JUDY CLAY – “Private Number”
26. JOHNNIE TAYLOR – “Who's Making Love”
27. WILLIAM BELL – “I Forgot To Be Your Lover”
28. CARLA THOMAS – “I Like What You're Doing (To Me)”


DISC TWO

1. BOOKER T. & THE MGS – “Time Is Tight”
2. THE EMOTIONS – “So I Can Love You”
3. ISAAC HAYES – “Walk on By”
4. RUFUS THOMAS – “Do the Funky Chicken”
5. JOHNNIE TAYLOR – “Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone”
6. JEAN KNIGHT – “Mr. Big Stuff”
7. ISAAC HAYES – “Never Can Say Goodbye”
8. THE DRAMATICS – “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get”
9. THE STAPLE SINGERS – “Respect Yourself”
10. ISAAC HAYES – “Theme From Shaft”
11. THE BAR-KAYS – “Son of Shaft”
12. LITTLE MILTON – “That's What Love Will Make You Do”
13. FREDERICK KNIGHT – “I've Been Lonely for So Long”
14. SOUL CHILDREN – “Hearsay”
15. THE DRAMATICS – “In the Rain”
16. THE STAPLE SINGERS – “I’ll Take You There”
17. MEL & TIM STARTING – “All Over Again”
18. THE TEMPREES – “Dedicated to the One I Love”
19. THE STAPLE SINGERS – “If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)”
20. JOHNNIE TAYLOR – “Cheaper To Keep Her”
21. SOUL CHILDREN – “I'll Be the Other Woman”
22. SHIRLEY BROWN – “Woman to Woman”


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