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

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(December 16th, 2001)

Isaac Hayes & Jim Stewart


Two architects of the Memphis Stax sound, soul legend Isaac Hayes and label co-founder Jim Stewart, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year alongside two bands that helped define New York's burgeoning punk scene in the 1970s, the Ramones and the Talking Heads.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Gene Pitney and Brenda Lee are also inductees. Guitar great Chet Atkins, who died in June, is next year's sideman inductee.
The announcement was made Thursday by Suzan Evans, executive director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. The induction ceremony will be held on March 18 in Manhattan and aired by VH1 two days later. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is based in Cleveland.
Hayes - whose career is synonymous with that of Stax - was thrilled upon hearing the news.
"I came in from Memphis today and when I got off the plane, I was told by my limousine driver," Hayes, 59, said from New York City. "It's great. It hasn't really hit me yet. I'm honored that I was selected - in good company, too."
Best known for his Oscar-winning score to Shaft, keyboardist Hayes began as a session musician, producer and songwriter at Stax, co-writing such hits as Soul Man and Hold On, I'm Coming for Sam and Dave with partner David Porter and backing such artists as Otis Redding before becoming a star in his own right.
"It's a total fairy-tale story," says Rob Bowman, author of the hailed book Soulsville U.S.A.: The Story of Stax. "Here's a man who in the '60s alongside David Porter defined as much as any writer what the sound of soul music was. Then as a solo artist, he redefines the possibilities of black music for the first half of the '70s. And alongside James Brown, Al Green and Stevie Wonder, he's one of the four biggest stars of black music at that time. Not many people can pull that off."
Hayes now divides his time between Memphis, where he recently opened a restaurant, Isaac Hayes Music Food Passion in Peabody Place, and New York City, where he's a WRKS-FM 98.7 deejay. Hayes is also the voice of "Chef" on the popular animated television series South Park.

Stewart, who will receive the Hall's honor for its nonperformer category, started Stax (initially Satellite) with sister Estelle Axton and was one of the label's producers.
"Jim as an entrepreneur was the man who starts Stax Records," says Bowman. "Alone for that, Jim should be in the Hall of Fame, and I think Estelle should be as well. But the thing that a lot of people overlook with Jim is this was the man who engineered and produced 90 percent of the material recorded at Stax through '67. It's Jim's ear that creates that unique Stax sound where the vocal is much further back in the mix than most types of pop or R&B. And that is a big contribution."
"Jim was working a lot during the early days at Stax, recording and working the board," says Hayes. "He was regarded as King of the One Track at one time."
Hayes added, however, that he would have felt better had the Hall given the award to both brother and sister. "Stewart and Axton made Stax," he said, referring not only to the first letters of their last names, which spell Stax, but their business and musical contributions as well.

Hayes and Stewart join Stax peers Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MGs, Sam and Dave and the Staple Singers in the Hall.

Bill Ellis -
The Associated Press contributed to this story.


(December 15th, 2001)

Rufus Thomas died this morning in Memphis. He was the first and last Stax artist to record in the McLemore Stax studio (Walking The Dog and Jump Back) . He will be sadly missed. FOCUS page here. See tribute page here.


(December 12th, 2001) 

Stax Site on 10 Dec. 2001

The Stax Museum will probably open in September of 2002.


(December 10th, 2001)

Look at an interesting Steve Cropper interview at the following URL:


(October 23rd, 2001)

Stax today and yesterday

Strange similarities between these two photos. The left one was shot today by Sherman Willmott, The right one was shot in the last months of 1989, during the demolition of the original Stax building. by the same Sherman Willmott, from the very same location, 12 years ealier...


(October 5th, 2001)

Apollo marquee, 17th June, 1966

Otis' former road musician Newton Collier was kind enough to send me a copy of an e-mail from his friend Alan Walden (Otis' co-manager with his brother Phil Walden) about an all Stax show at the Apollo (June 17th,1966... thanks Rob Bowman!) and some funny memories about Otis and James Brown:

I just spent a little time chatting with James Brown while he played the date here in Macon for the city. I mentioned the day in question at The Apollo! I was there for that show and wanted to refresh you a bit.

Sam and Dave definitely lit a fire under Otis the beginning of that week and when I arrived, I found Otis sucking lemons and honey! They were the Greatest Duo to ever grace a stage. Double Dynamite was the named Phil put on them. Anyway, Otis had picked up the tempo to his show so much attempting to combat the audience's reaction that he appeared nervous. I mentioned it to him after seeing the first show! Later at lunch with Jerry Wexler I brought it up again and Jerry overheard me. He then agreed and Otis took notice! Then, right before he went on the next show Phil stopped him in the wing of the stage. "You are the star of this show! Now go out there and star it" were his last words to Otis. Then The Master hit the stage and the rest was cool Soul sailing! He slowed it down, relaxed, and was OTIS! The Man who put the S in Soul! Sam and Dave continued to pound him the rest of the week but never again did they have him running! After two days on that tour Otis requested Sam & Dave be moved back up to immediately preceding him! "They make me work" was his reply!

Back to the big night when James Brown came. If you remember a bit more you will remember that Muhammad Ali was there as well! "Two Kings" is what Otis called them from the stage. Ali remained in his seat as Otis proclaimed the king of the ring! James made his way to the stage as he had in the past which brings me to tell this. In the past, James paid Otis visits and ended up singing a bit with him! It always brought the house to their feet but I felt the audience went away talking about James too much! This time I asked Otis not to offer him the mike! I wasn't sure if he would do it since he thought the world of James but to my surprise when James reached, Otis extended his hand for a shake! The mike went down by his side in his other hand! James was exiting the stage with a bit of baffled look when Otis surprised us all by kicking into "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag"! Then he went up on one leg!!!!!! Otis on one leg very awkwardly doing the famous James Brown step! Then he shouted "Did I do it yall?" It was a riot and brought the whole house to their feet!

I loved it so much I will always have that day as a special day in my life with Otis Redding. I do hope you enjoy this email and I am sorry it has taken me forever to write!


Alan Walden


(October 1st, 2001)

You can join the staxrecords mailing list by just sending a blank e-mail to and waiting for the automated reply. You will meet other Stax fans and the best specialists and former Stax musicians (great names expected soon). On the dedicated Yahoo site page, you will already find many rare documents and photos about the wonderful Stax years. You will also be automatically advised about all new informations appearing on the Stax Site.

Patrick Montier


(September 13th, 2001)

926 E. Mc Lemore ave. on 9.12.2001

Thanks to, this photo showing the Stax Museum works in progress on the 926 E. McLemore site. Notice the shape of the resurrected Stax marquee on the center left part of the picture, exactly where the original one stood until 1988.

(August 28th, 2001)

Booker T. & The MG's on stage (Cannes, France)

I received the following report about the MG's concert from our UK friend Mike Scott: "Hi Everybody, Went to Bishopstock, Booker T & The M.G.s were (well; what do you think?) Absolutely fantastic! For your info; here is the set (as I recall it!) 1/  Gotta Serve Somebody. 2/  Melting Pot. 3/  Mo' Greens. 4/  Soul Limbo. 5/  Soul Dressing. 6/  Summertime. 7/  Hip Hug Her. 8/  Green Onions. 9/  Sarasota Sunset. 10/ Mrs. Robinson. (Steve said that they'd not played this since 1969!) 11/ Hang 'Em High. 12/ Time Is Tight. 13/ (Encore) Double Or Nothing.(Steve said " Here's an early one from the Sixties!"). Performance wise, they were magnificent. Steve's solos were very true to the originals - He was "really cooking"! Sound quality was A1! Booker T (after a few P.A. probs. sounded tremendous.Steve Cropper was on top form! Duck Dunn was "the bomb!", clearly enjoying the gig. Anton Figg was excellent - doing an extended drum solo or two into the bargain! I didn't get any photos because I was 'travelling light' but I did get to meet Booker & Steve after their set, in the 'signing tent' where they very kindly signed my "Soulsville USA" book for me. I told Steve that I'd been a fan since I was 14 - He said " I started playing guitar when I was 14 - or trying to!" I told Booker that I'd seen them in 1970 at Manchester and he couldn't quite recall it - (understandable after over thirty years!) I reminded him that it was with Jimmy Ruffin - then he remembered! 
I am still 'shellshocked'! I can't believe how I didn't say more to them but the queue was well over 100 yards long (I was 1st - a kid jumped in ahead of me but I forgave him!) so I felt a little bit intimidated! Still; I've done it now; realised a life-long ambition and when it sinks in I'll feel great! Apparently B.B.C. Radio 2 & Jazz F.M. are doing 'features' on Bishopstock, so I'm going to do my damndest to record them so if I come up with anything I'll let you know .                                                                                    Bishopstock is truly unique! The artists are brought in from all over the world for the festival (not just because they happen to be on tour), tickets limited to 5000 despite being held in huge grounds. I loved everything about it and I'm going to return next year hoping that Booker T is on again! (Yeah right!). Duck Dunn looked well - He's lost a bit of weight - nothing wrong with that. He seemed to enjoy the gig - especially when he had to 'wing it' a bit during "Melting Pot" when Booker "strayed" a little! Duck was obviously a bit too tired to come to the signing tent- but Hey! He's here isn't he?

Mike Scott


(August 15th, 2001)

Wayne Jackson & Deanie Parker

Don't forget to watch regularly at Wayne Jackson's website, which is updated frequently. Among other news, you will just happen to know that Wayne donated his old trumpet and trombone from the early Stax days to the Stax Museum, as well as the leather jacket he wore during his March 67 trip to Europe with the Hit The Road Stax legendary tour. See above photo of Wayne, Deanie Parker and these instruments. It will ad a great emotional value to see THE trumpet with our own eyes when the museum is open.



(August 11th, 2001)

The Mar-Keys

Wayne Jackson's website at includes a tentative discography of the Mar-Keys/Memphis Horns, not including the whole Stax sessions, too numerous to be listed. Addition welcomed...


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