The 50th anniversary of Stax Records, along with the label’s re-activation-in-full, will be celebrated at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music conference with a live reunion of some of Stax’s biggest stars.
Booker T & the MGs (featuring Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn), William Bell, Eddie Floyd and surprise guests will unite for a 90-minute set scheduled to take place Thursday, March 15, 7:30pm -9:00, at Austin’s legendary Antone's nightclub. Admission will be open to all SXSW badge and wristband holders.
The show will also celebrate the March 13 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 the legendary soul label. The set is packaged in a hardcover box with lenticular cover art of the famous snapping finger logo. The collection features Stax stalwarts, Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs, Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, Sam & Dave, The Dramatics, Little Milton, The Mar-Keys, Mel & Tim, Jean Knight, and The Emotions.
Concord Music Group recently announced a year of activity that will include deluxe reissues of classic albums and rarities, a live Stax summit in Memphis in June, and a PBS documentary set to this summer.
In addition, Concord Music Group is reactivating Stax this year as a forward looking contemporary soul label carrying on the famed labels’ tradition, heritage and legacy. The first new Stax signings are Isaac Hayes, Angie Stone, Soulive and Leon Ware among others.
Stax Records holds a critical place in American music history as one of the most popular soul music record labels of all time — second only to Motown in sales and influence, but first in gritty, raw, Southern-steeped sounds. Stax placed more than 167 hit songs in Billboard’s Hot 100 pop charts as well as a staggering 243 hits on the R&B charts. In addition to the “core” artists who appear on Stax 50, the label was also home to recordings by Albert King, Big Star, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Moms Mabley and even the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
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.
Today at the original site of Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee is the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and Stax Music Academy. The only soul music museum in the world, the Stax Museum is a 17,000-square-foot facility with more than 2,000 exhibits, videos, films, photographs, musical instruments, stage costumes, automobiles, and other artifacts that tell the fascinating story of Stax Records as well as other soul music labels. Concord Music Group’s new releases on Stax Records may be purchased in the museum’s Satellite Record and Gift Shop.
The adjacent Stax Music Academy is a unique learning city where Stax Records is being carried into the future by mentoring primarily at-risk urban youth through music education.