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.
Little Milton - Stax Profiles (Selected by Lee Hildebrand)
Few recordings artists matched the emotional intensity of Little Milton Campbell (1934-2005), whether he was singing and playing guitar or singing without the aid of his instrument. The Mississippi-born musician made many of his greatest recordings for Stax Records between 1971 and ’75. Rhythm-and-blues historian Lee Hildebrand has handpicked some of the very finest, including live renditions of "Let Me Down Easy," "I Can’t Quit You Baby," and "Blind Man" and such studio masterpieces as "Walkin’ the Back Streets and Crying," "That’s What Love Will Make You Do," and "Little Bluebird." Also featured are Milton’s musical salutes to his friends Bobby Bland and B.B. King. Blues and soul don’t get much more passionate than these 14 Little Milton performances.