Stax Records is synonymous with Southern soul music. Originally known as Satellite when it was founded in 1957 by Jim Stewart, the fledgling company set down roots in Memphis two years later and in 1961 changed its name to Stax, from the first two initials of Stewart’s last name and that of his sister and co-owner, Estelle Axton. Among the many artists who scored hits on Stax and its Volt subsidiary during the Sixties were Rufus and Carla Thomas, Booker T. & the MGs (an interracial instrumental quartet that also served as the company’s rhythm section), Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, and Otis Redding. Redding’s death in 1967 signaled the end of the first Stax era (to which Atlantic retains distribution rights). Subsequently the company spawned a new crop of hitmakers, among them Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, and the Dramatics. In June 1977, a year and a half after Stax went bankrupt, the company’s masters were purchased by Fantasy, Inc., which periodically revived the Stax and Volt logos for new recordings, in addition to reissuing older material. Stax/Volt became part of the Concord Music Group in 2004.
Carla Thomas - Stax Profiles (Selected by Dr. Mable John)
Mable John was the first woman to record for Motown, in 1960 on the Tamla label, but it wasn’t until seven years later that she scored her biggest hit, "Your Good Thing (Is About to End)" for Stax Records in Memphis. Now, John has cherry picked 15 very good things from the extensive discography of her former Stax label-mate Carla Thomas. "I watched her develop and move from her puppy love delivery to the gutsy soul singer she is today," John says of Thomas in the booklet notes. The tracks span the years 1960 to 1972, mixing hits like "Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)" and "I Like What You’re Doing (To Me)" with lesser-known Thomas treasures such as the ultra-sensual "Sugar" and a heartfelt treatment of the Barbara Lynn classic "You’ll Lose a Good Thing." Today, Dr. Mable John is the pastor of Joy Community Outreach in Los Angeles.