The 50th anniversary of the legendary soul label Stax Records will kick off
with the release of a deluxe edition 50-song, 2-CD box set titled Stax 50: A
50th Anniversary Celebration - the most comprehensive Stax hits collection ever
featuring for the first time all major Stax hit singles. Stax 50 will formally inaugurate
Concord Music's re-launch of Stax. The set is packaged in a hardcover box with lenticular
cover art of the famous snapping finger logo. Street date is set for March 13, 2007.
Stax 50 features hits from the Memphis label¹s heyday of the 1960s and '70s,
including the many legendary artists who jointly created the 'Stax sound,'
among them Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs, Isaac Hayes, The
Staple Singers, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Eddie Floyd,
William Bell, The Dramatics, Little Milton, The Mar-Keys, Mel & Tim, Jean
Knight, and The Emotions.
As noted in Stax historian Rob Bowman's extensive liner notes for the box,
'The story of Stax Records is about as improbable and unforeseeable as any
tale could possibly be.' The label was launched in Memphis by a white
country fiddler named Jim Stewart and his sister, Estelle Axton. The name
came from combining the first two letters of each of their last names.
Originally known as Satellite Records, with a roster that spanned pop to
blues to rockabilly, the label's 1960 name change to Stax cemented the
label's commitment to R&B and soul, commencing with Rufus & Carla Thomas'
"Cause I Love You." Within a short time, Stax, based in a former movie
theater on Memphis' McLemore Avenue, grew into a self-contained indie
powerhouse with its own studio, A&R staff, writers, producers and house
Concord Music Group, which acquired the legendary Memphis label as part of
its purchase of Fantasy Records in 2004, will also honor Stax's 50th year by
releasing definitive collections, rare performances, unreleased tracks and
more from the Memphis R&B imprint in deluxe new packages. Plans for digital
releases, remixes and other projects are also in the works; the anniversary
year's releases are slated to include more than 20 CDs and DVDs.