The Soul of Stax
Welcome to the second in a short series of programmes where we look at the music of four of the most influential soul music labels of the twentieth century. Memphis based Stax records first made its appearance in the UK in 1961 when Decca's London label issued the Carla Thomas single, 'Gee Whiz'. The London label was Decca's outlet for recordings for a multitude of small American labels, but only the earlier releases gave reference to any of the releases from Stax or its subsidiary labels, Volt and Satellite. It wasn't until 1967 that Stax was given its own imprint through Atlantic having had its releases issued by them since 1964 when Decca gave Atlantic its own identity. Over the years, the heydays of Stax saw distribution through EMI, Polydor and Pye. Their star signing was Otis Redding and his death was a big blow to the label, and while it certainly had an impact on their demise in the '70s, there were other factors as well, including bad financial mismanagement and a change in musical tastes.