Stax Records Memphis Soul Music Rhythm & Blues Otis Redding Eddie Floyd Booker T. & The MG's

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(January 17, 2005)

Very good news from JVC Victor in Japan these last days: The Soul Explosion double LP from 1969 will be this month on CD. The tracks list is:

Who's Making Love (Johnnie Taylor) / I Like Everything About You (Jimmy Hughes) / Hang ‘Em High ( Booker T. & The MG's)  / Where Do I Go (Carla Thomas) / I've Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do) (Eddie Floyd) / Smell Of Incense (Southwest F.O.B.) /Cold Feet (Albert King) / Soul Limbo (Booker T. & The MG's) / So Nice (The Mad Lads) / Bring It On Home To Me (Eddie Floyd) / Private Number (William Bell & Judy Clay) / Long Walk To D.C. (The Staple Singers) / I''ve Got A Sure Thing (Ollie & The Nightingales / Copy Kat (The Bar-Kays) / Soul Clap '69 (Booker T. & The MG's) / Hear My Call (The Staple Singers) / Save Your Love For Me (Johnnie Taylor) / Peeped Around Yonders Bend (Jimmy Hughes) / Book Of Love (Carla Thomas) / These Old Memories (The Mad Lads) / Mercy Mercy Mercy (Southwest F.O.B.) / Hot Hips (The Bar-Kays) / Heartaches Mountain (Ollie & The Nightingales) / Twenty Years From Today (Johnnie Taylor) / It's Wrong To Be Loving You (Eddie Floyd) / It's Me (Judy Clay) / Booker's Theme (Booker T. & The MG's / Left Hand Woman (Get Right With Me) (Albert King). 

It has several previously CD unreissued tracks. More details at


(January 15, 2005)


Volume 1 of Wayne Jackson's memories, IN MY WILDEST DREAMS, is completed and already available through ebay at  It was written in close collaboration with his kind and lovely wife Amy.

First, let's talk about the man himself. I met him last year in Memphis after being in touch for several years, and I found him exactly as I imagined: open-minded, extremely friendly, simple, with no "big head" for a man who played on thousands of records with the greatest artist and on hundreds of hit records. He loves to communicate, is full of life, and actually tries to understand everything as if he were in your place.

I was personnally very touched when, saying him that he could not imagine how I felt at speaking to someone who was at Stax from the very first days, who played on every hit record, including those of Otis, Aretha, Elvis, Percy, etc, he answered to me very directly, "Yes, Patrick, I assure you that I understand perfectly what you feel, and I am sincerely glad to see and share your joy."

Amy, a former journalist who speaks French, and my wife Marie-Anne talked a lot together while I was chatting with Steve Cropper and others (let's hope Steve will write his memories too some day). But you know wives, I will never know exactly what they talked about--perhaps about Wayne's and my hidden sides!

Now, about the book itself: It starts with his earliest memories after his birth, 62 years ago, and goes to 1969, when he stopped being a resident
musician at Stax--so it contains all the most interesting years for the readers on this site. There are three more volumes to come, and I am avid to read them since they will talk about other parts of Wayne's career which I don't know as well.

Life seemed kind and easy to Wayne since, after being offered a guitar for Chrismas and actually immediatly playing well, he was given a trumpet by his mother (good idea, Madam!), bought second hand from the neighbors accross the street, when he was eleven.

From then on, the way was set for the best soul music trumpet player in the world and, thanks to his music teacher at school, the gifted teenager soon began to play solos and jammed with jazz bands.

The rest is history, and I won't summarize the whole book, but he went to the newly formed Satellite Records and "Last Night" came our immediatly, followed by all the fantastic music we love.

The value of the book is mainly in its view from the inside. Reading the description of a session with Otis, the off the records talks with Steve Cropper, and all the everyday life at Stax in the 60's makes you feel a little like "actually being  there." The style is very direct and natural, and sounds always true.

Wayne talks a lot about the other parts of his recording career and his sessions at Fame, American, Hi, Atlantic in NYC, etc. How fine it would be to read his mind and be able to witness all this through his eyes and ears! I suppose that all these memories have aggregated together over the time and make a fantastic and never-ending super session!

His best friends Andrew Love and Steve Cropper, with the rest of the MG's, are not forgotten, though I would have loved more on the late Al Jackson (more later). Estelle Axton (a wonderful lady, probably the very soul of Stax) and Jim Stewart  are well represented, as many other people of Stax in the 60's.

There is a very long part about the Hit The Road Stax european tour in March 67, (when they discovered there was life outside Memphis and the USA!) and nearly 30 photos, some exclusive from Wayne's or Steve Cropper's personnal collections, some already seen here and there. I was a little disappointed by the relatively small number of photos, especially the exclusive ones.

Among the parts that striked me, I would place on top the wonderful early Stax recording sessions with Albert King (Wayne already told me so and it is true: the Mar-Keys are at their best on these tracks), the intimate moments with Otis Redding and the words about Al Jackson when he says, as everybody at Stax has said, that they just thought all drummers played this way and they only discovered later that they had recorded for many years with one of the best drummers in the world...

The price is rather expensive ($42), but "when you love, you don't count." Let's hope that an editor will be finally interested in publishing this book and that, when completed, with perhaps a little more photos (please, Wayne!), it will get the recognition that the memories and the man deserve.

Patrick Montier (with a little help from my friend Bill Saunders)

Straight from the Stax Site vaults, here is a Q&A filled in by Wayne some years ago: q&a_jackson.htm


(January 15, 2005)

At last, JVC Victor in Japan are reissuing the rarest Stax LP "Stay In School" on CD. Unfortunately, it appears that it is not absolutely similar to the original vinyl issue, some tracks being in stereo when the vinyl versions were all mono and some takes being different, especially the great Booker T. & The MG's "Soul Sanction" track which was the only 3'10 long version when this CD reissue is only 2'10...

(January 1, 2005)


A communication from Wayne and Amy Jackson: At long last, Wayne has completed his book, "In My Wildest Dreams - A Collection of Rock and Roll Tales Volume One!  Opening at a recording session in Sting's castle, Wayne takes the reader back to his beginnings in West Memphis, Arkansas, and then across the river to Memphis and into the pages of music history.  This first volume chronicles his adventures through 1969 and features tales of Stax Records, Muscle Shoals, the 1967 Stax/Volt Revue, the Monterey Pop Festival, the Memphis studio & club scene, Elvis and much more.  There is also a bonus section called "On The Record," which is a transcript of Wayne talking about many of the songs he has played on.

As many of you know, we've had an ace literary agent shopping for a book deal the past several years.  The publishers love Wayne's writing, however sadly, they only think they can sell books filled with filthy stories about rock stars.  We think differently.  So this fall, we got the rebel spirit and decided to take matters into our own hands and bring these stories directly to the people!

What we've come up with is 202 pages of 100% Wayne Jackson.  No strangers telling him how to tell his story!  Since we're doing this ourselves, we're calling it the Collector's Edition, an 8 1/2 X 11 comb-bound edition with 27 photos.  Each one will be personalized and autographed to you.  The cost is $42.00 plus $7.00 shipping and handling ($12.00 international).      

We begin selling and shipping on Monday when we launch our new Ebay store, Sweet Medicine Music Memorabilia.  We did want to give our friends a heads up in case you would like to place an order now with check or money order.  If you do, please e-mail us, and we'll let you know where to send your payment.

And in keeping with the rebel nature of our project, we're doing "people" reviews rather than "critic" reviews.  We believe in the people and their opinions!  Here are a couple...   

"Wayne Jackson is a born storyteller, consummate musician, and he leads the reader on a wild romp through the historical and cultural events that shaped our generation.  As one of the hip doctors attending the birth of soul music, Wayne helped write the soundtrack of our lives. 

This is the first installment on his story, and he chronicles the musical and cultural history of soul music in the first person.  Literally, a soul survivor from the rough and tumble roadhouses of the backwoods South to the concert halls of Europe, the author gives us a front row seat as he hones his craft with soul music legends.

Wayne takes us from his upbringing in the early 1940's in rural Arkansas to the decadent swinging mid-1960's, as seen through the wide-eyes of a soulful young man with a gift and a burning desire to be successful.  A founding member of The Mar-Keys and The Memphis Horns, Wayne's horn proved to be his ticket to the stars.

(December 22, 2004)


In April 2005 the Barbican in London, celebrates the spirit of Memphis with a major festival 'It Came From Memphis' drawing its name and inspiration from the timeless account of the city in Robert Gordon's book of the same name. The festival tells the story of this legendary city in a way that has never happened before, and will probably never happen again, with special concerts, a short season of films, and talks with the artists.

Sat 9 Apr 7.30pm
Muscle Shoals

An essential chapter in the Memphis music saga is that of the Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, located in an obscure corner of Alabama. Founded in 1969, it became a destination for many Memphis artists including Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and gospel legends the Staples Singers. More recently Muscle Shoals has become fashionable again with the release of the acclaimed Country Got Soul albums that 'rediscovered' the white soul sound featuring the likes of Dan Penn, Tony Joe White, Spooner Oldham and George Soule.

This unique concert brings together both the past and the present, featuring the Muscle Shoals rhythm section fronted by David Hood plus some very special guests from the Country Got Soul recordings and one or two of the original star voices who made their names at the studios.

Ticket £20 / £25 / £30

Fri 22 Apr 7.30pm
Hi Records

Formed in 1957 and based at Royal studios, Hi Records forms a crucial chapter in the story of soul music. Based in a poor African American neighbourhood of Memphis it was home to several star soul artists, including Al Green, Ann Peebles and producer Willie Mitchell.

Tonight's special concert brings together the original Hi Rhythm section featuring Teenie, Leroy and Charles Hodges, who formed the backbone of the trademark sound that was so unmistakably Memphis soul.

They are joined by sensational singer Percy Wiggins and several more
very special guests tbc.

Ticket £20 / £25 / £30

Mon 25 Apr 7.30pm
Stax featuring Booker T & the MG's

One of the most legendary and popular soul labels ever, Stax has left an indelible mark. Second only to Motown, Stax was know for its gritty, stripped down soul music. The list of legends that started out there speaks for itself including Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Sam & Dave, and Isaac Hayes.

One of the recipes for the success at Stax and many other Memphis studios was the use of regular 'house bands' whose sound became hugely sought-after. Groups such as Booker T & The MG's, the Mar-Keys and the Memphis Horns all contributed to the trademark groove.

This unique concert unites many of the original Stax artists to perform together for the first time in the UK, with the backing of the awesome Booker T & The MG's - Booker T Jones, Steve Cropper and Donald 'Duck' Dunn.

Ticket £20 / £25 / £30 / £35


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