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Stax Records is an American record label founded in 1957, originally based in Memphis, Tennessee. The label was a major factor in the creation of the Southern soul and Memphis soul music styles, also releasing gospel, funk, jazz, and blues recordings. While Stax is renowned for its output of African-American music, the label was founded by two white businesspeople, Jim Stewart and his sister Estelle Axton, and featured several popular ethnically-integrated bands, including the label’s house band, Booker T. & the MG’s.

Following the death of Stax’s biggest star, Otis Redding, in 1967 and the severance of the label’s distribution deal with Atlantic Records in 1968, Stax continued primarily under the supervision of a new co-owner, Al Bell. Over the next five years, Bell expanded the label’s operations significantly, in order to compete with Stax’s main rival, Motown Records in Detroit. During the mid-1970s, a number of factors, including a problematic distribution deal with CBS Records, caused the label to slide into insolvency, resulting in its forced closure in late 1975.

Fantasy Records acquired the post-1968 Stax catalog in 1978, and reissued the material in various formats for several decades. After Concord Records acquired Fantasy in 2004, the Stax label was reactivated, and is today used to issue both the 1968–1975 catalog material and new recordings by current R&B/soul performers. Atlantic Records continues to hold the rights to the 1959-1968 Stax material.

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  • TheMed1977

    one of my 1st albums was Booker T & The MG's and I've been hooked on 'STAX' ever since.Otis walks into a recording studio and is allwoed/ gets to sing 'These arms of mine',and the rest history. It's a mind blowing time and a awesome Label.

    February 2010
  • Uncut_Rubber

    Yes... this is the most awesome label ever. Home of Booker T. & The M.G.s, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Albert King, Eddie Floyd... Screw Motown! True soul came from Stax!

    December 2009
  • brennanmcnally

    woo stax!!!

    March 2009
  • odjbo

    don't know where we'd be w/out these recs.

    January 2008
  • Tr1xx

    News, 19/12/06 (from BBC): Legendary record label Stax, home to Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes, is to return 30 years after it folded.

    December 2006
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