January 3, 2009

BRINGING SWEAT TO OSLO:

A New PBS Special Revisits the Stax/Volt Revue’s 1967 European Tour (JON PARELES, 1/03/09, NY Times)

The black-and-white concert footage of “Sweet Soul Music: Stax Live in Europe 1967,” to be shown Monday at 8 p.m. on WLIW (Channel 21) and nationwide on PBS in March, is a chance to see Stax’s soul men at their youthful peak; Redding would die in a plane crash later in 1967. The concert also shows African-American culture raising a ruckus on staid foreign turf.

Stax Records did not choose timid singers. The tour lineup was all belters — Redding, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd and Arthur Conley — who bounced percussive phrases off the band’s unswerving beat. They were R&B troupers from an era when performers didn’t need to lip-sync when they danced. The Stax singers commanded the stage with moves no choreographer taught them, and they didn’t rest until their audience became an ecstatic congregation.

The revue was videotaped for television on April 7, 1967, in Oslo. (The PBS special is a shorter version of a DVD, “Stax/Volt Revue: Live in Norway 1967,” which is available from the Stax Museum in Memphis, staxmuseum.org.)


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Posted by Orrin Judd at January 3, 2009 8:06 AM
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