Concord Music Group News

NEWS 04 Jun 2007

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Concord Music Group Reactivates Stax Records

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the legendary label Stax - home to many of soul music's most enduring recordings - Concord Music Group announced a year of activity that will include deluxe reissues, special events and the reactivation of the label with a slate of new signings.

Stax's contribution to popular music is enormous. Releasing hit after hit from Otis Redding, the Bar-Kays, Isaac Hayes, Sam and Dave, the Staple Singers, Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Taylor, William Bell and Rufus and Carla Thomas, among many, many others, the Memphis soul label established itself as a one-of-a-kind brand. With a grittier sound than Motown's and arguably the greatest house band of all time (Booker T. & the MGs), Stax pushed soul music to new heights. The strength and commitment of the artists was also socially significant, as was the undeniable symbolism of the MGs' black and white musicians playing together in the segregated South.

It's a fitting tribute to Stax that not only will its past glories be suitably honored during 2007, but its future will be assured as well. One of the first new signings to Stax, soul luminary and Stax patriarch Isaac Hayes, said, "Stax always has been and always will be Soul Music, I was a part of that. I am coming back to Stax because there is still so much to do. It's like coming home."

Another artist joining Stax is superlative vocalist Angie Stone, widely regarded as one of her generation's few heirs to the grand tradition of R&B. She said, "The thrill of putting out music on the label that brought the world Otis, Booker T., the Staples and so many other artists who made me want to sing in the first place is simply indescribable."

The first new release on Stax, Interpretations, is a star-studded tribute to the songs of Earth Wind & Fire mastermind Maurice White. Concord, which acquired the legendary Memphis label as part of its purchase of Fantasy Records in 2004, will also honor Stax's 50th year by releasing definitive collections, rare performances, unreleased tracks and more from the Memphis R&B imprint in deluxe new packages. The first of these, Stax 50: A 50th Anniversary Celebration, a two-CD, 50-track anthology, is brimming with hits from Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MGs, Isaac Hayes, The Staples Singers and many more.

Other treats throughout the year include digital releases (such as the exclusive Short Stax available at iTunes), remixes, live spectaculars and DVDs. "Our partnership with the Concord Music Group has been extremely gratifying," said Deanie Parker, President/CEO of Soulsville USA and former Director of Publicity, Artists and Community Relations at Stax. "The people at Concord get it. I appreciate the respect that they have for Stax's music and the legacy, their ability to embrace the spirit and philosophy of Stax, and their marketing savvy."

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