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Memphis Grizzlies and Soulsville Foundation announce Staxtacular Presented by SunTrust

The Memphis Grizzlies and the Soulsville Foundation are bringing the worlds of basketball, music, and mentoring together for the Soulsville Foundation’s largest annual fundraiser, Staxtacular 2015 Presented by SunTrust.

  • What: Staxtacular Presented by SunTrust
  • When: Saturday, February 7, 2015 – 7 pm until midnight
  • Where: Stax Museum of American Soul Music, 926 E. McLemore Avenue

Hosted by Memphis Grizzles’ Tony Allen, Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, and other representatives from the team, the eleventh annual Staxtacular Presented by SunTrust will feature international cuisine stations, open bars and custom cocktails, live and silent auctions, and live music by the Stax Music Academy and the Bo-Keys with special guest Stax legend William Bell.

After being inspired by the Stax Records legacy and encouraged by the Soulsville Foundation’s work with at-risk young people, former Grizzlies players Shane Battier and Brian Cardinal and their wives offered to host a fundraiser in 2005, which became Staxtacular. Since then, new Grizzlies players have taken on the host roles and Staxtacular has become one of the most popular fundraising events of the year in Memphis. It has raised more than $900,000 to date. The Grizzlies and Soulsville Foundation expect Staxtacular 2015 to increase that to over $1 million.

Staxtacular 2015 will feature the opportunity to bid on NBA memorabilia, travel packages, original artwork, music-related packages, and more during and live, silent, and online auctions.

Tickets to Staxtacular are $150 each and may be purchased by calling 901-261-6338 or online at

The Soulsville Foundation is a Memphis, Tennessee-based nonprofit organization that operates the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Stax Music Academy, and The Soulsville Charter School. In addition to operating the world’s only soul music museum, its mission is to provide leadership and financial support that promotes and utilizes the music and heritage of Soulsville USA to develop young people for lifelong success. For more information, please log onto

Definitive Collection Of Stax Records’ Singles To Be Reissued

Two volumes, due out December 16, 2014 and February 3, 2015, cover 1968-1975.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Concord Music Group and Stax Records are proud to announce the reissue of two comprehensive box set titles: The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles, Vol. 2: 1968-1971 and The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles, Vol. 3: 1972-1975. Originally released in 1993 and 1994, respectively, these two compilations will be re-released back into the physical market in compact and sleek new packaging. Each set includes full-color booklets with in-depth essays by Stax historian and compilations co-producer Rob Bowman. The volumes feature stalwart Stax R&B artists including Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Carla Thomas, the Bar-Kays and William Bell, as well as bluesmen Little Milton, Albert King and Little Sonny, and “second generation” Stax hitmakers like Jean Knight, the Soul Children, Kim Weston, the Temprees, and Mel & Tim.

The story of the great Memphis soul label Stax/Volt can be divided into two distinct eras: the period from 1959 through the beginning of 1968, when the company was distributed by Atlantic and was developing its influential sound and image (chronicled in acclaimed 9-CD box set The Complete Stax/Volt Singles 1959-1968, released by Atlantic in 1991); and the post-Atlantic years, from May 1968 through the end of 1975, when Stax/Volt began its transition from a small, down-home enterprise to a corporate soul powerhouse.

In Stax’s early years as an independent label, founders Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton struggled with the loss of its back catalog to Atlantic/Warner Brothers Records and the loss of the label’s most lucrative artist, Otis Redding, who tragically died in a plane crash months before. In need of funding and new stars, Axton and Stewart sold the label to Gulf + Western, bringing on promotion head Al Bell (who would soon become an equal partner and major figurehead of the label). In his Vol. 2 essay, Rob Bowman recalls, “As the sun arose in Memphis on May 6, 1968 [the day Stax officially became independent of Atlantic], Stax had been essentially gutted. For all intents and purposes it was a new record company poised to issue its first few records.”

Comprised of nine CDs, Vol. 2 focuses on this period, 1968 through 1971, when Stax/Volt was forging ahead as its own entity. The 216-song collection includes all of the singles issued by the label during this time period, and features some of the biggest and best-loved hits of the day, including Isaac Hayes’ “Theme From Shaft,” The Staple Singers’ “Respect Yourself” and Johnnie Taylor’s “Who’s Making Love,” as well as a number of little-known gems by both major and less-familiar artists.

By the end of 1971, Bowman notes, “Al Bell’s dream of [Stax/Volt] becoming a diversified full-line record company was several steps further along the line to being reality. The label now recorded a wealth of different styles and flavors of black popular music, ranging from the jazz and easy-listening proclivities of Isaac Hayes to the blues of Little Milton to the ’70s disco-infused vocal style of the Dramatics to the gutsy soul of the Staple Singers.” Indeed, the early 1970s found Stax/Volt a much bigger entity than ever thought possible during its initial split from Atlantic, with Isaac Hayes as its breakout star. Spurred by the success of Hayes’ GRAMMY Award-Winning Shaft soundtrack in early 1972, the label was casting its net across a wide cross section of the entertainment industry, entering into new territory with soundtracks, comedy records, and even investing in a Broadway play. The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles, Vol. 3: 1972-1975, out February 3, 2015, covers this era of success and excess, when Stax’s stars were shining bright, but the label was on the verge of its dramatic denouement. The 10-disc box set contains all 213 soul singles issued by Stax/Volt during this time, including such hits as Shirley Brown’s “Woman to Woman” and the Staple Singers’ “I’ll Take You There.”

In 1976, faced with involuntary bankruptcy and an unsuccessful distribution deal with CBS Records, Stax was forced to close its doors. In his liner notes for Vol. 3, compilation co-producer Bill Belmont writes, “Stax’s difficult and inglorious end in no way diminishes its vital contributions to rhythm and blues and soul. Today, the music of Stax maintains a strong and steady presence, heard continually in cover versions by major artists, in movies and on television. Simply put, the Memphis Sound lives.” And indeed it does.

With a revival of the label in recent years, through Fantasy Records, the 2003 opening of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis, Tenn., as well as several developing theatrical performances around the label, the music of Stax will continue to influence generations of musicians and fans alike.

Take Me To The River (in London)!

Authentic Memphis Music Descends on London in Film and Live Concerts featuring William Bell, Bobby Rush, Hi Rhythm Section with Ben Cauley, Stax Music Academy Alums The Bromfield Trio, and more.

MEMPHIS, SEPTEMBER 2, 2014 – The new award-winning documentary film, Take Me to the River, aptly named for one of Memphis’ most famous songs, is headed to London for its UK debut at the Raindance Film Festival this month.

In addition to two screenings of the made-in-Memphis masterpiece, a cadre of Memphis’ most legendary musicians and singers who appear in the film will perform two live concerts that are sure to be once-in-a-lifetime experiences for UK fans of Memphis music.

Take Me to the River celebrates the inter-generational and inter-racial musical influence of Memphis in the face of pervasive discrimination and segregation. The film brings multiple generations of award-winning Memphis and Mississippi Delta musicians together, following them through the creative process of recording a historic new album, to re-imagine the utopia of racial, gender, and generational collaboration of Memphis in its heyday.

The film and CD of the same name (released by Concord Music Group’s Stax Records) features Terrence Howard, William Bell, the Hi Rhythm Section, Snoop Dog, Mavis Staples, Otis Clay, James Alexander and Larry Dodson of The Bar-Kays, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Yo Gotti, Bobby Rush, Ben Cauley, Frayser Boy, The North Mississippi All-Stars, Stax Music Academy, and many more.

Performers in live concerts by the Take Me to the River All Stars include many of those, including William Bell, Bobby Rush, Otis Clay, the Hi Rhythm Section with Ben Cauley, Stax Music Academy alums The Bromfield Trio, and others.

The schedule is as follows:

Friday, September 26th, 8 pm
What: Take Me to the River All Stars Live Concert
Where: Brooklyn Bowl London, The O2, Peninsula Square
Admission: £30.00 + Booking Fee

Sunday, September 28th, 6:30 pm
What: Take Me to the River UK premier film screening
Where: Raindance Film Festival, Vue Piccadilly Cinema
Admission: £12.00 adults / £9.00 seniors / £9.00 students

Sunday, September 28th, 8:30 – 11 pm
What: Take Me to the River All Stars Live Concert
Where: The 100 Club London, 100 Oxford St.
Admission: £25

Monday, September 29th, 4 pm
What: Take Me to the River UK premier film second screening
Where: Raindance Film Festival, Vue Piccadilly Cinema
Admission: £8.00 adults / £6.00 seniors / £6.00 students








Official Trailer for Take Me to the River

Pictures from the film


The Soulsville Foundation (operating The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Stax Music Academy and The Soulsville Charter School, both of which serve underserved students),  The Blues Foundation’s Hart Fund (which provides musicians in need with acute, chronic, and preventive medical and dental care as well as funeral expenses), and Memphis Church Health Center (to help aging musicians with medical, dental, and emergency services).