Stax Records in Memphis

In the 1950's there was a record label in Memphis called Satellite Records. Its founders were Jim Stewart and his sister Estelle Axton. They moved their business to the old Capitol Theatre and in 1961 Stewart took the first two letters of his last name and the first two letters from his sister's last name and made a new label called STAX Records. Their design for their logo was a falling stack of records.

STAX Records became known in the 60's and 70's as the place to go to record soul music. Such famous recording artists as Issac Hayes, Booker T. and The MGs, Ottis Redding, Rufus Thomas, the Bar-Kays, and the Staples Singers all recorded there.

In 1973 Elvis needed to record more material to fulfill his contract obligations with RCA. He wasn't much in the mood to record as he hadn't been well, and he dreaded going back into the studio. His friend Marty Lacker, who had been instrumental in Elvis recording at American Sound Studio in Memphis four years earlier, was working at STAX. Since it was so close to Graceland, Marty got Elvis to agree to record there.

His first sessions there were in July 1973 and produced the singles "I've Got A Thing About You Baby", "Take Good Care of Her", "Raised On Rock" and "For Ol' Times Sake", as well as other songs that ended up on the album "Raised On Rock".
His second sessions at STAX took place in December
1973. It was during these sessions that many of the tracks for the albums "Promised Land" and "Good Times" were recorded. These included such songs as "It's Midnight", "Mr. Songman", "Love Song Of The Year", "My Boy", "Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues", "Your Love's Been A Long Time Coming" and many more.

STAX Records went out of business and, sadly, the building was torn down in 1989. A Memphis civic group took the remaining letters of the Stewart and Axton names and formed Ewarton, a group with the goal of creating a STAX museum on the same property where the studio once stood. Ewarton later became Soulsville and, in 1997, announced plans to build the STAX Museum of American Soul Music and STAX Music Academy.

Just recently the STAX sign was turned back on and soon the new building will be dedicated. It houses the museum with much of the old original recording equipment and a teaching and performing facility. It is hoped that many students will benefit from the music academy.

STAX is slated to open to the public by the fall of 2002. It will be another must-see spot for Elvis fans.