Episode date - April 24, 2015
The story of Stax Records is one of the most unlikely tales of success that you are likely to hear. A white banker who played a little bit of country fiddle and his sister, who also worked at a bank, pooled their resources to start a recording studio, a business about which they knew virtually nothing.
For starters, recording studios are about as volatile a business as a restaurant, so even if circumstances ere perfect, it would have been a tough sell. To make matters worse, they located their operation in the heart of a black neighborhood in Memphis, one of the most racially divided cities in the United States. Keep in mind, this was before the civil rights era. In the late ‘50s, Lynchings were not uncommon and Freedom Riders from the north would mysteriously disappear. Just the thought that white musicians would venture into this neighborhood to record music was, at best, a pipe dream. As things turned out, they didn’t have to.
Over the course of about three years, Stax slowly became the country’s best example of integration and equality at work. Somehow, an ambitious southern banker and his sister, both virtually without any familiarity of black culture or rhythm and blues, found themselves providing the resources for some of the most successful music of the sixties. By ignoring racial boundaries, Stax stumbled upon the next ‘big thing’ in America’s musical evolution. This show covers the start of their remarkable story.
Featured tracks include;
1) Fool in Love – The Veltones
2) ‘Cause I Love You – Carla & Rufus
3) Gee Whiz – Carla Thomas
4) Last Night – The Mar-Keys
5) Morning After – The Mar-Keys