bj&j | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

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Recent Comments

Re: “Al Bell featured on the Tavis Smiley Show this weekend

Hey y'all, I love Al Bell as much as next person (actually... probably a whole lot more) but he did not found Stax Records. He ran Stax Records. He had a golden touch at Stax Records. He is a major figure in music and culture but he didn't found Stax. He'll tell you that himself.
Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton founded the company as Satellite Records in 1957. They changed the name to Stax, taking the S & T from Stewart and the A & X from Axton, in 1961. They were two white folks putting out mostly local black folks music without any experience or connections and yet somehow it caught on.
When Al Bell arrived in 1965, however, he made sure that the music and message of Stax caught on worldwide. Make no mistake, he didn't just fan the flames of an already stoked fire. Al Bell's insight and genius took Stax to a totally new level, one with Grammys and Oscars and Black Moses and "I'll Take You There". His golden touch transformed Stax into a artistic and cultural giant who's huge shadow will forever loom over future generations. Of course he's from Arkansas.
I just wanted to say that Al Bell is indeed the man but God bless Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton for starting the label off in the first place. The label of Booker T. & the MGs, Otis Redding, Johnnie Taylor, the Staple Singers, Issac Hayes, Albert King and on and on and on.
I love me some Stax Records...better than Hi, better than Motown, better than Blue Note, dare I say..better than Sun! The people's music is on Stax. Just enough polish to make the grit shine, Stax Records, the best record label ever.
Go to the Stax Museum and the Smithsonian's Rock and Soul Museum in Memphis and check out all of the history of Memphis music.. IMO, Memphis is the center of the music universe. Cheers!

Posted by bj&j on 05/21/2011 at 5:48 AM


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