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Homer Banks

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Homer Banks
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Homer Banks (August 2, 1941 – April 3, 2003) was an African-American songwriter, singer and record producer, best known for his songs for Stax Records in the 1960s and 1970s. Many of the songs he wrote have become contemporary classics[1].


Life
Banks was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and at the age of 16 formed the Soul Consolidators gospel group which toured around the southern states, often performing his own material. After military service, he returned to Memphis in 1964, and started a singing career with the small Genie label where he met Isaac Hayes and David Porter. Soon, Stax founder Estelle Axton hired him to work at the record shop attached to the company’s Satellite Studios, where he stayed for three years, also recording for the Minit label. One of his Minit recordings, “(Ain’t That) A Lot of Love”, provided the basic riff later used by the Spencer Davis Group on their hit “Gimme Some Lovin’”[1][2].

Jim Stewart at Stax refused to give Banks a contract as a singer, but eventually Stax did give him a songwriting contract. He began working with co-writer Allen Jones, placing songs with Johnnie Taylor and Sam and Dave, and also writing “I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down”, later a UK hit for Elvis Costello. Banks had greater success with the Staple Singers, writing their first Stax single “Long Walk To DC”, and then some of their biggest hits including “If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)”.

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