Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Respect Yourself And Watch This Show!

Tomorrow night PBS' "Great Performances" is airing a documentary about Stax Records, the legendary soul music label:
Between 1959 and 1975, Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee released international chart-topping hits such as "Soul Man," "Dock of the Bay," "Green Onions," "Midnight Hour," "Respect Yourself," and the theme from SHAFT. The label's artists included Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Booker T and the MGs, Wilson Pickett, Isaac Hayes, and even Richard Pryor and Jesse Jackson. Founded by a white conservative bank teller who played country fiddle music, Stax became the preeminent soul music label in America, and became identified with the civil rights movement of the 1960s and '70s. RESPECT YOURSELF documents the Stax label, its visionaries, and most of all, its music.

I am madly in love with pretty much everything Stax ever produced; also the wee Brother of Felt Up is a virtuoso Hammond organ player who has been totally and single-mindedly obsessed with Booker T. and the MGs since he was 14 years old. We did numerous family road trips to Memphis and got to take a personalized tour of the city with music writer Robert Gordon, who wrote It Came From Memphis. My brother even named his son--the Nephew of Felt Up--Memphis Redding.

Check out Pat's band McLemore Avenue (named for the location of Stax Records in Memphis) and if you have even a casual interest in soul music, make sure and watch "Respect Yourself" tomorrow night. Check your local PBS station for times. DO IT!

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