NEWS

IN LOVING MEMORY: WAYNE JACKSON 11/24/41 – 6/21/16

Written By Tim Sampson, Stax Memphis and reposted with permission.  Tim’s original piece can be found here.

Wayne Jackson, Stax and Memphis Horns Legend, passes at age 74.

Wayne Jackson loved to fly small airplanes. He loved to cook his special chili for the many bands with whom he recorded. He loved to collect memorabilia. He loved the Stax Music Academy and often performed with the students. He loved his late Memphis Horns partner Andrew Love, often joking that he and Andrew were a couple and that their wives were their “mistresses.” He loved his family, especially his wife of 25 years, Amy, and their fluffy white dog, Gracie.

More than anything, however, Wayne loved life – in particular, his life. It was never lost on Wayne that his life was magical, having played on 52 Number One Records and 83 Gold and Platinum records. He was in awe of the gifts of talent and opportunity that had shaped his career and life, always seeming surprised that so many wonderful things could happen to one person.

Wayne Jackson, arguably the world’s most important trumpet player, passed away last night, June 21, 2016 from congestive heart failure with Amy by his side.

The first time Wayne Jackson encountered a trumpet, which his mother bought for him when he was 11 years, he knew something magical was about to happen. As he writes in In My Wildest Dreams: Take 1, the first in his trilogy of memoirs, “I took one puff of the light oil and pungent brass smells and got goose bumps. I looked at the velvet that lined the case and was excited in a way I couldn’t describe. I picked the trumpet up and put the mouthpiece in. I made a satisfying noise, in fact, a beautiful sound! I blushed and Mom and Dad laughed. ‘I think he likes it,’ Dad said. He was right. And somehow I knew it wasn’t exactly a toy.”

Wayne Jackson and Huey Lewis at a Stax Music Academy fundraiser on October 18, 2010.

That insight proved to be very true for Jackson. So true, in fact, that it would take him on a decades-long journey that would eventually earn him the highest honor the music industry bestows the GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jackson was born November 24, 1941 in West Memphis, a town he says, “had started life as a fruit stand on a long, dirt road.” From the time he was very young boy, he says, he wanted to be on the radio. When he got his first guitar even before elementary school, he listened to the radio and tried to emulate the sounds he heard as well as tinkering around with his own songs.

After taking up that trumpet, Jackson spent his years in school entering and winning talent competitions. While a senior, barely 18 with a short stint in the National, fate intervened and life would never be the same for the kid who had once dreamed of working for the Arkansas Highway Department.

Jackson’s first big break came in 1961, when he was jamming at a friend’s house and met some fellow teenage musicians who had a band in Memphis, The Royal Spades, who had an in at a new recording studio there called Satellite Records. Wayne joined the band, which soon changed its name to The Mar-Keys. He recorded the instrumental “Last Night” with them and it sold more than a million copies. It was then that label owners Jim Stewart and his sister Estelle Axton discovered there was already a Satellite Records in California and took the ST from Stewart and the AX from Axton and formed the portmanteau STAX Records.

Left to right: Eddie Floyd, Sam Moore, Steve Cropper, Otis Redding, Wayne Jackson, Arthur Conley upon arriving in England for the Stax/Volt 1967 European Tour.

With the success of the record, The Mar-Keys set out on a yearlong national tour, which included performances such as one at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida in front of 52,000 fans, where Jerry Lee Lewis, also on the bill, got into a fight with the crowd who began hurling the 52,000 hot dogs they’d been given at him. It also included a performance on the much-loved American Band Stand television show.

A few years after the tour, Jackson paired up with Stax Records’ saxophonist Andrew Love and together, along with a few other horn players, they would play on virtually every song Stax released that featured horns, which was the majority of its catalog, providing the famous horn lines for and helping skyrocket the careers of the likes of Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Sam & Dave, Rufus and Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, and countless others, helping make Stax Records one of the biggest and most influential record labels in the world.

Seated: Original Mar-Keys members Wayne Jackson, Ronnie “Angel” Stoots, Jerry Lee “Smoochy” Smith, and Terry Johnson visiting with students of the Stax Music Academy in 2007. Photo by Andrea Zucker.

In 1969, the two left Stax and incorporated as The Memphis Horns and for the next four decades they were the most sought-after horn players in the world, adding their magical brass sounds to a who’s who in the music industry, including Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Ike & Tina Turner, Neil Diamond, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Al Green, the Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, U2, Rod Stewart, Joan Baez, and dozens of others. To date, Jackson has performed on52 Number One records, 112 Top Ten records, 83 Gold & Platinum records, and 15 Grammy winners. In 2008 The Memphis Horns were inducted in the Musicians Hall of Fame and that year Jackson was inducted into the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame. In 2012, the two received the highest honor the music industry awards, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards. Love passed away later that year, and Jackson continued to record and give specially guided tours of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis at the original site of Stax Records.

You’d be hard-pressed to go through a day without hearing Wayne Jackson’s trumpet. Just a few of the songs he played on are Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds,” Neal Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and most of Green’s other hits; Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness” and virtually all of Redding’s other hits; Wilson Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour” and “Mustang Sally,” Aretha Franklin’s “Think” and many of her other hits, Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” . . . . the list goes on and on.

For Wayne Jackson’s complete and audacious discography, visit his website HERE.

SOUL MAN WILLIAM BELL REUNITES WITH STAX RECORDS AFTER FOUR DECADES FOR ‘THIS IS WHERE I LIVE,’ OUT TODAY

SOUL MAN WILLIAM BELL REUNITES WITH STAX RECORDS AFTER FOUR DECADES FOR ‘THIS IS WHERE I LIVE,’ OUT TODAY
“A Memphis Legend Is Back” – The New York Times

this-is-where-i-live-album

Soul legend William Bell returns with ‘This Is Where I Live’ today, his first album for Stax Records in nearly four decades. William first signed to Stax in 1961 and helped put the label on the map, penning some of its most iconic hits. And now he has returned. The New York Times profiled William yesterday, declaring “A Memphis Legend Is Back” on the front page of their print edition. William has also appeared recently on NPR’s Weekend Edition and Studio 360, and has been featured in Pitchfork, Vice, Garden & Gun and more.

Here is an interview with William on Weekend Edition last Saturday: http://www.npr.org/2016/05/28/479824649/william-bell-heads-back-to-his-roots-in-this-is-where-i-live

Produced by GRAMMY-winner John Leventhal (Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell), ‘This Is Where I Live’ is an introspective soul album that finds Bell reflecting on a lifetime of experience. He worked with Leventhal to revisit the classic Stax sound, reimagining it with a maturity and vibrancy that ring with a timeless truth. Of their time writing songs and recording in the studio, William has said that only his Stax songwriting partner Booker T. Jones compares to Leventhal.

‘This Is Where I Live’ has been getting early raves:

“This feels like the album he should have made in 1967, but wasn’t ready for: with every smoothly delivered lesson about satisfaction and pain, you sense how hard each one was to learn, and how finding the right words—the right tone of voice to make what you have to say mean anything—is much harder.” – Pitchfork (Greil Marcus)

“Age becomes Bell’s voice…it’s a pleasure to once again hear his reliable romanticism.” – NPR Music

“It’s resonant, wise, and considered music, the kind of direct songwriting that helped Bell make his name, sung in his rich, sturdy voice.” – Vice Noisey

“William Bell, at age 76, is back with what may be the best album of his life.” – The Bitter Southerner

“Still in excellent form…the most personal work Bell has ever created.” – Chicago Tribune

William will be playing select tour dates, backed by John Leventhal and a hand-picked band, next week in Chicago, Nashville and New York:
6/4/16 – SPACE – Evanston, IL
6/5/16 – 3rd & Lindsley – Nashville, TN
6/7/16 – The Cutting Room – New York, NY
6/9/16 – BAM R&B Festival – Brooklyn, NY

Buy This Is Where I Live:

iTunes: http://smarturl.it/WBtiwiliTunes

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/WBtiwilamazon

 

www.williambell.com

www.staxrecords.com

www.concordmusicgroup.com

 

BEN HARPER & THE INNOCENT CRIMINALS’ NEW ALBUM ‘CALL IT WHAT IT IS’ NOW STREAMING EXCLUSIVELY ON PANDORA

BEN HARPER & THE INNOCENT CRIMINALS’ NEW ALBUM ‘CALL IT WHAT IT IS’ NOW STREAMING EXCLUSIVELY ON PANDORA
LISTEN HERE:
http://pdora.co/CallItWhatItIs

BAND MAKES HIGH PROFILE APPEARANCES ON ESPN’S SPORTSCENTER, + KCRW’S MORNING BECOMES ECLECTIC BEFORE APRIL 8TH ALBUM RELEASE

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals will release ‘Call It What It Is’ next Friday April 8TH, 2016 on Stax Records, their first LP in 9 years.  Now through next Thursday, the album is streaming exclusively on Pandora in full: http://pdora.co/CallItWhatItIs

Last week Ben and the band visited ESPN’s SportsCenter  – where they performed their sun-kissed new single “Shine.” It was the first time that SportsCenter hosted a music performance from their L.A. studio. Each band member donned a ‘Stuart Scott’ t-shirt for the television taping, honoring the memory of the famed SportsCenter anchor who passed away last year. Watch here: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=15071193&ex_cid=espnapi_internal

They also performed on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic, where they locked in for five crisp cuts off ‘Call It What It Is’ and the classic “Burn One Down”:http://www.kcrw.com/music/shows/morning-becomes-eclectic/ben-harper-2016-03-23

Ben recently spoke with The Atlantic in an extensive interview on the inspiration behind the new album. The feature focuses on Harper’s ability to balance dark and light in his music, as well as incidents of injustice he’s faced in his own life: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/03/ben-harper-reluctant-protest-singer/475173/

The ‘Call It What It Is’ tour launches this Saturday at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY and finds Ben and the band playing NYC for the first time together since 2007 at the Beacon Theater April 7.

 

Pre-order Call It What It Is:

iTunes: http://smarturl.it/callitwhatitisiTunes

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/callitwhatitisamazon

 

TOUR DATES:

4/2/16 – The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY
4/3/16 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
4/4/16 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
4/6/16 – College Street Music Hall – New Haven, CT
4/7/16 – Beacon Theatre – New York, NY
4/9/16 – House of Blues Boston – Boston, MA
4/10/16 – The Fillmore – Philadelphia, PA
4/12/16 – Métropolis – Montreal, Canada
4/13/16 – Massey Hall – Toronto, Canada
4/15/16 – Royal Oak Music Theatre – Royal Oak, MI
4/16/16 – Riviera Theatre – Chicago, IL
4/17/16 – House Of Blues – Cleveland, OH
4/19/16 – Tivoli Theatre – Chattanooga, TN
4/20/16 – Tennessee Theatre – Knoxville, TN
4/22/16 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN
4/23/16 – The Orange Peel – Asheville, NC
4/24/16 – Sweetwater 420 Fest – Atlanta, GA
6/23/16 – Marymoor Park – Seattle, WA
6/24/16 – McMenamins Edgefield – Troutdale, OR
6/25/16 – Les Schwab Amphitheatre – Bend, OR
6/28/16 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO
6/29/16 – Red Butte Garden – Salt Lake City, UT
6/30/16 – Revolution Concert House- Boise, ID
7/2/16 –  High Sierra, Festival – Quincy, CA
7/8/16 – RBC Ottawa Blues Fest, Ottawa, Canada
7/9/16 – Ommegang Brewery – Cooperstown, NY
7/10/17 – Merryland Music Festival, Columbia, MD
7/12/16 – Artpark – Lewiston, NY
7/13/16 – Meijer Gardens Amphitheater – Grand Rapids, MI
7/16/16 – Sloss Music & Arts Festival – Birmingham, AL
8/16/16 – Mountain Winery – Saratoga CA
8/17/16 – Fox Theater – Oakland, CA
8/19/16 – Hollywood Bowl – Los Angeles, CA
8/20/16 – Santa Barbara Bowl – Santa Barbara, CA
8/23/16 – Humphrey’s by The Sea – San Diego, CA
8/25/16 – Marquee Theatre – Phoenix, AZ

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http://www.benharper.com

https://www.facebook.com/benharper

https://twitter.com/benharper

https://www.youtube.com/user/benharper

http://instagram.com/benharper/

http://www.concordmusicgroup.com

http://www.staxrecords.com/