Posts Tagged ‘Stax Records’

Miss this? WRTC’s Seven-Hour Stax Records Show (now archived)

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

On May 21, WRTC in Hartford, CT aired it’s seven-hour marathon Stax Records show (co-hosted by Greasy Tracks jock Chris Cowles and Soul Serenade host Tom Shaker). And what a marathon it was. If you couldn’t tune it live, then you’re in luck as the entire show has been archived. Check the links below:

Stax Records Feature Hour 1: Interviews with drummer Jody Stephens, founding member of Big Star and staff manager at Ardent Studios; and Skip Pitts, guitarist from Isaac Hayes’ band and the one responsible for the famed wah-wah riff on “Theme From Shaft”

Listen HERE

Guitarist Skip Pitts talking about how “Shaft” came about in the studio …

Listen HERE

Stax Records Feature Hour 2: Interviews with Ardent Studios founder John Fry; vocalist John Gary Williams of the Mad Lads; and engineer Terry Manning

Listen HERE

Stax Records Feature Hour 3: Interviews with vocalist Eddie Floyd; Rick Nuhn of Concord Music Group; and writer/singer Sir Mack Rice

Listen HERE

Stax Records Feature Hour 4: Interviews with former Stax singer/composure and then publicity director Deanie Parker; and guitarist Steve Cropper of Booker T. & the MGs.

Listen HERE

Stax Records Feature Hour 5: Interviews with vocalist Sam Jones of the Astors and Tim Sampson, communications director of Stax Museum of American Soul Music.

Listen HERE

Stax Records Feature Hours 6 & 7: Interviews with composer and singer David Porter; Sam & Dave trumpet player Newton Collier; and with piano player, arranger and composer Marvell Thomas

Listen HERE

Get Ready, Wendy Rene “After Laughter Comes Tears” release is around the corner!

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

It’s been a long time coming, but After Laughter Comes Tears is the first ever anthology of southern soul legend Wendy Rene, whose classic, organ-driven “After Laughter (Comes Tears)” has been covered or sampled by everyone from Wu Tang Clan (“Tearz”, from 36 Chambers) to Alicia Keys (“Where Do We Go From Here”), Lykke Li and El Perro Del Mar. “If I could sing like anyone,” said Lykke Li, “It would be her.”

Includes 11 singles, 9 rarities and 2 previuosly unreleased songs from the Stax/Volt archives! CD and double LP available for pre-order now (out 2/7/12)!

Born Mary Frierson in Memphis, Tennessee, home of Stax Records, Wendy Rene was christened by Otis Redding on signing to Stax as a teenager in 1963. Back then, she and brother Johnny Frierson, both singers at the Church of God In Christ, were determined to make it in music. Forming singing quartet The Drapels with two friends, they took the bus to 926 E. McLemore Avenue, auditioned for Stax co-founder Jim Stewart, and won a deal on the spot.

“As soon as we finished with the Drapels’ songs and [the rest of the band] were going to the bus stop, I showed Mr. Stewart my songs,” recalls Rene. The result? Stewart found two acts in one, and Mary had two contracts with Stax.

Both Drapels and Wendy began recording with the greats – that’s The MGs on the group’s “Young Man”, Booker T. Jones playing organ on “After Laughter” and Steve Cropper playing guitar on the dance craze-inspired “Bar-B-Q”, the success of which caused Wendy – then a teen bride – to leave school.

Young Wendy Rene

The Drapels dissolved almost as quickly as Wendy’s first marriage, partly due to the attention lavished on youngest member Wendy’s solo career. But a real hit eluded the singer, and in 1967, with a growing family with second husband and Stax employee James Cross, Wendy decided to retire from the business. “I wanted a baby to hold and coochie-coo to, and I didn’t want to miss any more time away from my kids,” she says.

Wendy was due to perform one last show with Otis Redding and the Bar-Kays, but changed her mind at the last minute. It was an auspicious decision – that weekend, Redding and four Bar-Kays died when their plane crashed in Lake Monona.

Wendy mourned her friends but not her music career. She taught harmony to her children and she sang in church, not in the studio. Then, in 1993, something strange happened – a friend of her son heard Wu Tang Clan’s “Tearz” on the radio. As new generations of artists have rediscovered Wendy Rene’s work, they have touched her life in various ways: Alicia Keys’s remake of “After Laughter…”, “Where Do We Go From Here”, for example, helped pay for her current home. Keys tried to meet up with Rene when she played in Memphis. “I wasn’t able to do it,” says Wendy, revealing little.

In September 2010, Wendy Rene returned to live performance, albeit very briefly, playing a set at Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans. It was to be a bittersweet occasion – Wendy’s beloved brother Johnny had died suddenly in June 2010 and performing brought back a flood of memories. “I was so choked up I wasn’t able to perform like I wanted,” she admits. Available on CD with a 40 page booklet and a as a double LP housed in a deluxe “Tip-On” gatefold jacket, both sporting liner notes by Memphian Andria Lisle (liner notes writer for our Lou Bond, Charles ‘Packy’ Axton, and Jim Sullivan releases) and original 45 labels and unseen photos courtesy of Wendy Rene.

Listen, delve and enjoy. Pre-order your copy of After Laughter Comes Tears: Complete Stax & Volt Singles + Rarities 1964-1965 (LITA 080 | CD | 2xLP | Digital)

Memphis Record Store Day Crawl – April 21, 2012

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

We love a lot of stuff: Memphis, Stax, Record Store Day, Shangri-La, Goner, and Satellite record shops…so why not celebrate all this? Presented by Light In The Attic Records in celebration of the Record Store Day release of Never to Be Forgotten: The Flip Side of Stax 1968-1974, a limited edition, lavishly packaged love letter to the final years of Stax Records! This 45 rpm box set and book (limited to 4,000 hand-numbered copies) will be available at the following locations. Visit Memphis’ independent record stores for giveaways, artist meet-and-greets, and more! Share with your friends here and help spread the word!

2-3 pm | Shangri-la Records
1916 Madison Ave, 38104. (901) 274.1916
Featuring DJ Buck Wilders

3-4 pm | Goner Records
2152 Young Ave, 38104. (901) 722.0095
Featuring DJ Hot Tub Eric

4-6 pm | Satellite Record Shop
Located inside the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, 926 E. McLemore Ave, 38106. (901) 942-SOUL
Featuring DJs Leroy and Jones. Free admission to the museum 4-6 pm!