Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration

By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  December 17, 2007
4.0 4.0 Stars
This year, California’s Concord label took ownership of Memphis’s greatest musical treasure chest, the Stax Records catalogue, and celebrated the 50th anniversary of the founding of the company that made Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, Isaac Hayes, Sam & Dave, and the Staple Singers stars by opening the lid. What tumbled out included the PBS-special Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story DVD, the never-before-released TV performances in the Dreams To Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding DVD, and the footage from a groundbreaking 1967 European tour on the concert-length Stax/Volt Revue Live in Norway DVD. These discs shine the spotlight of history on a label that changed American music and, for a time, served as a major bridge across the country’s racial divide. And for an old-fashioned earful of music, there’s the 50-singles, double-CD Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration compilation. This smartly packaged set includes a thoughtful booklet about the label and its artists by journalist Rob Bowman. But what’s best are the endlessly listenable tunes, which include the Staples’ “Respect Yourself,” Thomas’s “Walking the Dog,” Hayes’s “Theme from Shaft,” Sam & Dave’s “Hold On I’m Comin’,” and Jean Knight’s “Mr. Big Stuff.”
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Pop and Rock Music,  More more >
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