Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration

Article excerpt

STAX 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Stax (Concord, 2007)

Twenty-one years ago rock historian Peter Guralnick published a book, Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom (MOJO Books), in which he argued that the Southern soul of the 1960s was both an expression of, and an inspiration for, the civil rights movement's ideal of the interracial beloved community.

If that sounds like a stretch, read the book. And listen to the recorded evidence on this anniversary reissue of 50 great recordings from Stax, the Memphis company that was the epicenter of the Soul Crusade. The best-known Stax artists--Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Rufus Thomas, The Staple Singers, Johnny Taylor, Isaac Hayes--have lived on oldies radio for four decades now. But what's amazing is the depth and consistency that extends to such relative unknowns as Frederick Knight, Mel and Tim, and Lynda Lydell.

That's because whoever was at the mike, the biracial team of producers, songwriters, and musicians behind the Stax sound remained the same. …

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