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(February 8, 2007)

Deanie Parker (c) P. Montier

Soulsville - the nonprofit parent organization that operates the Stax Music Academy, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Soulsville Foundation, and The Soulsville Charter School - announced today that Soulsville Foundation President Deanie Parker will retire on December 31, 2007, after the conclusion of the 2007 celebration of the 50 th anniversary of the founding of Stax Records.

"After much deliberation and soul searching," Parker said, "I have decided to retire from Soulsville at the end of 2007. This timing will be optimal. The city will have wrapped up the 2007 international salute to 50 years of Memphis Soul music and, in partnership with Concord Records and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, our organization will have completed the year-long 50th anniversary celebration of Stax Records and American soul music.

"I was fortunate to have been in the right time and the right place in 1963 when I became an employee of Stax Records. As the company's first and only Publicist, I was privileged to have played a part in the meteoric rise and success of the Stax era. Then I was honored in 1999 to have been selected to guide the revitalization efforts of Soulsville.

"In 2000, almost 25 years after the Stax recording studios were torn down, only an overgrown lot and a historical marker stood to recognize the amazing influence of Stax Records.  Today, there exists the beautiful and incomparable Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Now there is also the Stax Music Academy and the Soulsville Charter School mentoring and teaching throngs of children who now have this incredible opportunity to carry on the legacy of Stax Records and lead rich, full lives as adults. On the same spot where history's greatest Soul music was created, the Stax legacy continues to thrive today in the hearts, voices, and instruments of a new generation. My dream has come true. Our vision has been magnified magnificently.  And, my wish is for the Stax legacy to live on forever through Soulsville."

"Deanie Parker has been the voice for the entire revitalization efforts of Soulsville locally, nationally, and internationally, and it is hard to imagine that changing," said Soulsville Board of Directors Chairman Charles Ewing. "Fortunately, Deanie will not be retiring until the end of 2007 after the yearlong celebration of 50 years of soul and Stax. This also gives Soulsville CEO Marc Willis time to carefully plan the transition and gives us all ample time to show our appreciation for Deanie and all that she has done to make Soulsville what it is today."

During 2007 Ms. Parker will be involved with the special Stax 50th Anniversary initiatives, including the annual Staxadelic fund-raiser and the "Disciples of Stax" program designed to solicit recording artists and entertainment personalities and organizations from around the world to donate $50,000 each to Soulsville. She will also serve as the Soulsville Board of Directors' representative for the Stax 50 th events and remain a member of the board after her retirement.

Soulsville CEO Marc Willis will assume the fund-raising efforts of the Soulsville Foundation, including annual fund giving, corporate giving, sponsorships, and other initiatives.

"Deanie has taught me many things in our time together," said Mr. Willis. "She has been the voice and soul of this organization and our efforts since their inception and her legacy will remain with the organization forever."   

"From the bottom of my heart I wish to thank my former Stax Records artists and employees, the Soulsville Board of Directors and Soulsville employees, donors, and everyone else who has supported this mission and our vision for Soulsville." Parker said. "With the success of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Stax Music Academy, and The Soulsville Charter School,  I have been blessed to play a part in this transformation."


By now you may have already heard the news--after much deliberation and "soul" searching, I have decided that at the end of 2007, the time will be right for me to retire from Soulsville. The Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau will have wrapped up its year-long international salute to Memphis soul, and in our partnership with Concord Music Group, Soulsville will have completed its 50th Anniversary celebration of Stax Records.

I was fortunate to have been in the right time and the right place in 1963 when I became an employee of Stax Records. As the company's first and only Publicist, I was fortunate to have played a part in the meteoric rise and success of the Stax era. I was honored in1999 to have been selected to guide the revitalization efforts of Soulsville. Now, I am looking forward to the future and pursuing new interests.

Almost 25 years after the Stax recording studios were torn down, only an overgrown lot and a historical marker stood to recognize the amazing influence of "the Memphis sound." Today, there exists the beautiful and incomparable Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Next door, the StaxMusic Academy and The Soulsville Charter School are mentoring and inspiring hundreds of at-risk youth every year. On the same spot where so much Memphis soul history was made, the values and philosophy that made Stax famous are being passed forward in the hearts and voices of a new generation.

I hope that I will see you at our upcoming "Staxtacular '07" fundraiser to benefit the programs of the Stax Music Academy. It's one of the biggest, baddest parties we'll throw all year long, and I do hope you'll "get down" to the Stax Museum on February 24 and join us in the celebration. You should visit for more information and call 901 261 6385 to buy your tickets. Please don't delay--they're going quickly!

It has been a blessing to have been with Stax Records, and now Soulsville, for so long. Both of these organizations will always be close to my heart, and I hope that Soulsville can continue to count on your support now, next year, and in the future. Please stay tuned for more news about the many exciting exhibits, concerts, and special programs which we will be producing to commemorate this soulful jubilee year!

Thank you so much -- I hope to see you at the Stax Museum soon!


Deanie Parker


(January 2, 2007)

Stax tape vaults (c) Patrick Montier

Among the new scheduled CDs, a “Best Of” double CD package followed by re-issued and re-mastered classics from Booker T and the MG’s and Steve Cropper and never before released live albums by Johnnie Taylor and Isaac Hayes, culminating with a Stax Christmas album and a special “Secret” box set containing all previously unreleased demos and publishers tapes.

2007 will also see to premiere of Respect Yourself – the Stax Record Story a feature length documentary from famed documentary makers Robert Gordon, Mark Crosby and award winner Morgan Neville. Respect Yourself will include never before seen footage including home movies by Stax artists, Otis Redding’s last ever performance, interviews with Stax artists and employees as well as Jesse Jackson, Elvis Costello, Bono, Chuck D, Pete Townsend, Dan Akroyd and Justin Timberlake, with The Stax Museum of American Soul Music serving as the back drop.

An european Stax tour is also possible and many other goodees...


(December 22, 2006)


Business Wire, Tuesday, December 19, 2006  

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Recipients of the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY® Award were announced today by The Recording Academy®. Joan Baez, Booker T. & The MG’s, Maria Callas, Ornette Coleman, the Doors, the Grateful Dead and Bob Wills will receive The Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. Estelle Axton, Cosimo Matassa and Stephen Sondheim will be honored with The Academy’s Trustees Award. David M. Smith and Yamaha Corporation have been named recipients of the Technical GRAMMY Award.

"This year’s group of accomplished honorees are as diverse as they are influential as creators of the most renowned and prominent recordings in the world," said Recording Academy President Neil Portnow. "Their contributions exemplify the highest artistic and technical standards that have positively affected the music industry and music fans."

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors lifelong artistic contributions to the recording medium while the Trustees Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the industry in a non-performing capacity. Both awards are decided by vote of The Recording Academy’s National Board of Trustees. Technical GRAMMY Award recipients are determined by The Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing members and The Academy’s Trustees. The award is presented to individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field.

Formal acknowledgment of these special merit awards will be made at an invitation-only ceremony during GRAMMY Week, as well as during the 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards, which will be held at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007, and broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.

Among Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees:

Booker T. & The MG’s (Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn, (a)Al Jackson, Booker T. Jones, and Lewie Steinberg) — As the house band at Stax Records in Memphis, Booker T. & The MG’s had tight, impeccable grooves that can be heard on classic hits by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and Carla Thomas, to name a few. They also were one of the top instrumental outfits of the rock era, recording classics including "Green Onions," "Time Is Tight," and "Hang ’Em High." As a band that featured two blacks and two whites playing as a cohesive group in the highly-charged south of the ’60s, they set an example of how music can transcend social ills.

Among Trustees Award Honorees:

Estelle Axton — As co-founder of the legendary Stax Records — home to Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, and Isaac Hayes — Estelle Axton was known as "Lady A" to the artists who recorded for her. Stax was widely renowned as the premier label in the rich history of Memphis music.

During the turbulent ’60s, Stax brought together black and white musicians who collaborated, creating the distinctive Stax soul sound which is recognized worldwide today. Axton’s influence as a mentor and facilitator was crucial to the development of the Stax stable of artists and songwriters and their role in generating a defining sound in American music in the ’60s and ’70s.

Established in 1957, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., also known as The Recording Academy, is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers, and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards, The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs — including the creation of the national public education campaign What’s The Download® ( For more information about The Academy, please visit


(December 15, 2006)

Ahmet Ertegun, Founding Chairman of Atlantic Records, passed away on December 14, 2006 in New York City at the age of 83. He had been hospitalized with a head injury since October 29th, when he fell backstage at a Rolling Stones concert at the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan. He was one of the first recording executives to sell music by black artists towhite youngsters looking for something exciting in the conformist Eisenhower eraof the 1950s, and in so doing, he helped pioneer rock 'n' roll. Recordings bysophisticated urban singers such as Ruth Brown, LaVern Baker and the Clovers,struck more of a chord with mainstream buyers than the raw blues emanating fromChicago.

From gospel, blues and jazz emerged R&B and rock & roll, the mostpopular music of all time," Ertegun wrote in 1997. "No music of anyother country travels worldwide. Thanks to Black America for our great artform."

Atlantic solidified its status as the dominant label of its time when it partnered in the 1960s with Memphis-based Stax Records to bring southern soulmusicians such as Redding, Sam & Dave, Isaac Hayes and Booker T. & theMG's to worldwide fame.

(November 3, 2006)

Ardent studios (c) Joe Pusateri.

Read a very complete article about Ardent Records and their importat links with Stax in this week's Memphis Flyer at

(October 21, 2006)

Joe Shamwell (far right). Stax studio.
(behind Isaac Hayes and David Porter)

Joe Shamwell, great Stax producer and composer in the late 60's and early 70's died October 17, 2006 in Washington.


(June 30, 2006)

Guitarist Johnny Jenkins, the man who brought Otis Redding to Stax died on Sunday, June 25 in Macon at age 67, after a recent stroke.


(May 17, 2006)

(c) Patrick Montier, 2002

Isaac Hayes and his wife are the parents of a baby boy, the couple announced Tuesday 15. Nana Kwadjo Hayes was born April 10 and weighed 8 pounds, 5 ounces, spokesman Rob Moore said.

In the Ghanaian language, Nana means "King," and Kwadjo (pronounced "Kwo-Jo") means "boy born on Monday." In 1992, Hayes was coronated an honorary king of the Ada district of Ghana for his humanitarian work. Kwadjo is Hayes' fourth son and the first with wife Adjowa.

A long and happy life to the new "Son of Shaft"!


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