page 3

<<< || >>>


(june 22, 1999)

According to Tom Claypool on the southernsoul mailing list, "David Porter has always stayed very busy since his Stax days. In addition to working with many community organizations including the Music and Film Commissions in Memphis, he stays busy writing songs and producing. The last hit that I recall him writing/co-writing was "Dreamlover" by Mariah Carey.  He is now involved in the start-up of a new local label in Memphis."

(june 5, 1999)

The new Rufus Thomas CD is out, but we already sold them all! and are awaiting another shipment! Rufus is up in Massachusetts performing this weekend. Bobby, Jim Spake, Scott Thompson, and Marvell Thomas will join him in the morning. He is still going strong. This time last year, he was slowing down but he's back on top of things now.
The Luther Ingram Benefit is really taking shape. My schedule has pulled me out of that committee, but I'm keeping tabs on the progress. I'll send you the list if you like.  Parts of the benefit will be recorded for use in an upcoming documentary by Miramax films. They want to celebrate a birthday for use in their project. Take care. I'll update you on the benefit soon.

Cherrie Holden

PS. We are in the very, very early stages of a full CD on the Temprees. Stay tuned for updates.  


(may 9, 1999)

Thanks to Curtis Johnson, here is a nice photo of Booker T. Jones, Donald Dunn and Steve Cropper strolling down Beale Street, Memphis, just a few days ago.

Booker T. & The MG's

The following is part of a review from the local newspaper, The Commercial Appeal

Memphis, Saturday, May 8, 1999 By Bill Ellis

"No one was better qualified to bless the opening of the Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival Friday than rhythm and blues legend Rufus Thomas.
Dressed in a pea green cape and shorts at Handy Park's VH1 Stage, Thomas showed that an old dog could learn new tricks when he put a funky scat coda to his classic Walkin' The Dog.
Backed by Stax veterans Bobby Manuel and Thomas's son, Marvell, Rufus delivered the perfect inaugural set at a festival defined by the timelessness of our region's music.
How else to describe the thrill of being able to hear Alex Chilton and Big Star at one end of Tom Lee Park and Eddie Floyd backed by his old Stax songwriting partner Steve Cropper at the other.  And if that wasn't enough local homage, the night was capped by the Holy Ghost boogie of the Bar-Kays and the enduring instrumental genius of Booker T & the MG's.
Someone shouted "Blues Brother!" when MG's guitarist Cropper performed 634-5789 with Floyd and, although it wasn't the way many choose to remember the Stax giant, it was still a roundabout tribute to the body of work he and the MG's created at 926 E. McLemore."

Great news, Curtis!

You can get more info at or

(17 april 1999, augmented 24 april 1999)

Curtis Johnson was the lead singer of The Astors of "Candy" fame. The group recorded at Stax since the early "Satellite Records" days. He plans writing a book about the Astors:
I am Curtis Johnson (CJ), former lead and background with Stax group "The Chips/The Astors", and Capitol/Fame group "The Brothers Unlimited".
I knew Chips (Moman) back in the early 60's...I don't remember a lot about Chips... I only remember Chips as being very energetic with a good ear for soul music.
I remember we started singing back up for a couple of Rufus & Carla duets, and we backed Nick Charles and William Bell on a song each. 
Sam Jones remembers us backing Carla on " A Love Of My Own" that was released after the Chips record, but Atlantic Records added The Anita Kerr Singers over our background, so on the record you can barely hear us. We did the backup on William Bells'  "Crying All By Myself" (Stax 174). I'm working on the other songs.

About Candy, The jocks in Philadelphia have earned a right to call it a Philly record because WDAS' Jimmy Bishop was responsible for plugging and "breaking" that record nationwide. We did our first major show at the Uptown.
About the Guitar on "A Woman Who Needs The Love Of A Man" and "Uncle Willie Good Time", Larry was the writer and Guitar player on those songs.  I'm not sure about the keyboards, but I think it was Marvell Thomas (Rufus Thomas' Son).
We recorded Twilight Zone on a 2 track Ampex recorder.  The jocks were looking forward for our release after Candy, but complained to Jim Stewart about the music overriding the vocals, and we wanted to go back in the studio and redo the cut, but Jim said no, it was too late. The jocks backed it off the play list and we began going down after that.
Til this day, I'm not sure why Jim was not all the way in our corner.  Don't get me wrong.  He treated us okay, but at the time he was really hooked on promoting Carla & Rufus, and I don't think we would have been there, had it not been for their push (Carla & Rufus), and the fact that Mrs. Axton and her son Packy, really liked the group and recorded us while he was out of town.  We also brought in an outside songwriter, Larry Lee, who went on to play guitar with Jimi Hendricks and Al Green, and I don't think he was happy about us bringing Larry in to this closeknit group.  I could be wrong about that, but this is how I felt.  But, we really enjoyed some good times at Stax, and the tours with James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, and many others including the whole Stax Family in LA together. Being on tour and out of the studio were the best.

The 5/4 Ballroom was an "experience". After taping TV shows everyday during that week and working on the Strip a few nights, that weekend, we, Rufus, Carla, William Bell, Booker T, MG's, Mad-Lads, and Wilson Pickett went to Watts (South-Central LA), up these wooden stairs to the club (5/4), packed with about 700-800 people, and had 2 wild nights of shows where Rufus and Wilson more or less battled for headliner.  However, Rufus took the shows.  Rufus may not be the best singer in the world, but he is one of the best entertainers you will ever experience.We had a ball before the  "Watts Riot" broke out, trapping some of our tour group in LA for days. We were lucky to fly out with a view of smoking Watts as we left LA.
That was the 1st Wattstax Review.



(11 april 1999)

A new message from Cherrie Holden in Memphis: "It looks like we are going to have to move the date forward a little on the Luther benefit. We are trying to accommodate as many of the artists' schedules as possible.  We are tentatively scheduled for June 7. I'll post you when that is confirmed.  Meanwhile, we are accepting financial donations and donations of items for the silent auction.  Both may be mailed to:

Luther Ingram
Kidney Fund
P.O. Box 42044 Memphis, TN 38174

(5 april 1999)

High Stacks Records in Memphis are co-sponsoring, along with The Luther Ingram Kidney Transplant Fund,  a benefit for Luther Ingram to help offset the expenses of his recent kidney transplant. This is one huge event!  After just a couple of days of phone calls, they have this preliminary lineup of entertainers: Rufus Thomas, Isaac Hayes, Eddie Floyd, The Mad Lads, Tommy Tate, The Temprees, Sir Mack Rice, Johnnie Taylor, Ben Cauley, William Bell, Frederick Knight, The Emotions, Marvell Thomas, J. Blackfoot, and The Astors.   This is currently scheduled to be held at the Four Points Hilton in Memphis on May 9th.  The show runs from 3:00PM to 2:00 AM. The date coincides with their annual Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival.  Booker T & the MG's are performing there as well as the Barkays.  If they can work through that sticky clause in their contracts, they will be performing too.

See Luther Ingram's discography on Yoni Neeman's great Soul Of The Net web site at the following URL:


(23 march 1999)

High Stacks Records in Memphis are on track now with the Luther Ingram Benefit. It will happen on Sunday, May 9 at the Four Points Hilton in Memphis. An all day affair, from 3 pm to 2 am. A $20.00 donation offers the opportunity to see The Mad lads, The Temprees, Sir Mack Rice, Rufus Thomas, Ben Cauley, J. Blackfoot, The Soul Children, The Emotions (tentative as of this date, but likely), Johnnie Taylor, Isaac Hayes, and that lineup is from one day of calling...there will be more. Cherrie Holden will post us as they come in. A great show to come...

<<< || >>>