LESSONS IN BLACK HISTORY – Stax Records

stax

STAX RECORDS – The legendary Stax Records label was founded in Memphis, Tennessee, by the brother and sister team of Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton. Although the south was still heavily segregated at the time, Stax was known for its open door policy to black musicians, and soon became known as a place where black and white musicians collaborated. Stax’s house band, Booker T & the MGs was an interracial band that became a musical force to be reckoned with. The two biggest artists to come out of Stax would be Otis Redding and later Isaac Hayes, and while Sam & Dave and Wilson Pickett weren’t on the label, their best material was recorded at Stax. Along with the better-remembered Motown, Stax recorded some of the most important music of the 1960s, which ultimately helped in the fight for desegregation in America. Though it is not talked about as much as it should be, some of the earliest and most crucial battles of the Civil Rights movement were fought and won in the world of music, where black musicians played for young integrated audiences.

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