August 1, 2007


RESPECT YOURSELF: THE STAX RECORDS STORY premieres on August 1, 2007 on PBS.

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. & the MG's, Rufus and Carla Thomas, the Staple Singers, 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.

Although started by a white banker and his sister, Estelle Axton, Stax eventually became one of the largest and most successful black-owned companies in the country before it was forced into bankruptcy due to financial and legal troubles in 1975. The label was resurrected in December 2006 and Concord Records, which acquired it, has been issuing new albums, re-releasing classics from the original catalogue, and mounting special Stax Revue concerts across the country. The legacy of Stax and the artists who recorded there is also being kept alive by the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, now located at the site of the former studio on the corner of McLemore Avenue and College Street in Memphis. Discover more about the origins of Stax, initially called Satellite Records; the convergence of black and white music at the studio; and the first songs that put the label on the map in the essay by contributor Robert Gordon. Read an excerpt from Gordon's book IT CAME FROM MEMPHIS, about the city that gave rise to not only Stax but also two other venerable music labels, Sun and Hi Records, as well as the Delta blues. Watch performances by Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MG's, and the Staple Singers, and find a directory of the music from the program in the song list.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 1, 2007 3:23 PM

Heard the Staple Singers' "Respect Yourself" for the first time in a while yesterday on the local oldies station. Great song.

Posted by: jdkelly at August 1, 2007 5:04 PM

My PBS station is going to regal its viewers with "The Jobn Denver: Wildlife Concert" begathon.
Oh well, would've conflicted with the must watch/DVR duo, "The Closer" & "Saving Grace" so I wouldn't have watched/recorded anyway.
BTW, you forgot to link to "Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration" 2 disc 50 song CD for $10,

Posted by: Mike at August 1, 2007 7:33 PM

Senior citizen timekeeping error, Closer and Saving were last nite and already recorded.
Anyway, tasteless public employee union controlled local PBS, in Sacramento,CA, is giving us a "Lionel Richie: Live in Paris", begathon thru the 13th.

Posted by: Mike at August 1, 2007 7:58 PM

One of best uses ever for a Staples cut was
this Ode to GI Joe.

Our local stations were all focused on the bridge collapse.

Posted by: ted welter at August 2, 2007 6:04 AM