Results for Stax Records

interviews

Booker T. Jones

When Jim and Greg were at SXSW, they were invited to interview soul legend Booker T. Jones in front of a live audience. This week, you'll get to hear some highlights of that interview. Jim and Greg start the interview by asking Booker how he became such a musical prodigy. The multi-instrumentalist, who has played tuba, piano, saxophone, guitar, oboe, and of course, most notably, organ, credits his musical family with steering him on that path. This path took him to Stax Records where he, Steve Cropper, Al Jackson, Jr., and Lewie Steinberg (later replaced by Duck Dunn) formed Booker T. and the MGs. While Booker was still in high school, the group recorded "Green Onions," which went on to become one of their most well-known hits.

Jim asks how Booker feels about being relegated to the role of“side man,”in music history, but the musician explains that he feels nothing but pride about being“best supporting musician.”In fact, Booker explains that being a side man elevated him as a musician and allowed him to do so much more than he would have been able to solo. Some of the people our guest has recorded with over the years include Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Ray Charles, and even Barbra Streisand.

Booker T. and the MG's not only played with an impressive cast in the studio, but on the road as well. Jim and Greg highlight his 1967 European tour with other Stax artists, and ask Booker what everyone must have been on to get that powerful, lighting fast tempos. Booker attributes that kind of energy and enthusiasm to people like Otis Redding and Al Jackson, describing them as“possessed people.”The Monterey International Pop Music Festival followed in the summer of 1967, and Booker describes this experience as one of the most eye-opening of his life. With everyone (including the Hell's Angels) collectively joining in to ensure its success, this concert was an affirmation of the values of peace and love everyone there believed in. The MGs went on to perform with Neil Young and with many artists at the Bob Dylan tribute in 1992 including George Harrison and Eric Clapton, who he dishes on later in the interview.

Performing at Monterey eventually led Booker to leave his steady stream of jobs at Stax and venture out to California. As a solo performer and producer Booker challenged himself with a number of new projects including a collection of standards for his neighbor, Willie Nelson. He also worked in the studio with Stephen Stills, Rita Coolidge, Bill Withers and Neil Young.

Go to episode 72
specials

Summer Road Trip

What better way to round out the summer than with a Sound Opinions (virtual) summer road trip. Too often, New York, L.A. and Nashville get all the music industry attention. But, there are great rock scenes all across the country, so this week Jim and Greg check in with insiders in three music towns coast-to-coast. They talk to Sam Sessa, an entertainment writer for the Baltimore Sun and the host of WTMD's Balitmore Unsigned, Bob Mehr, a music critic at Memphis' Commercial Appeal and Casey Jarman, the music editor at Portland's weekly newspaper the Willamette Week.

Check out these local acts-old favorites and new ones recommended by our city guides.

Go to episode 248
reviews
Potato HolePotato Hole available on iTunes

Booker T. Jones Potato Hole

Multi-instrumentalist Booker T. Jones also has a new album out called Potato Hole. It's a rare solo release from the man behind much of the Stax Records sound. This time around he's joined up with Neil Young and the Drive-By Truckers for a more guitar-centric record. That was problematic for Jim, who wished there was more of a focal point. He gives Potato Hole a Try It. Greg was impressed when he heard about the project's esteemed line-up. But, for him it didn‘t translate to the music. Greg didn’t hear anything persuasive and thinks Booker T. should stick to soul. He gives the album a Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 178
dijs

Greg

“Can't Turn You Loose”Otis Redding

Greg's Desert Island Jukebox choice this week was inspired by the passing of Phil Walden. Walden was a major figure in the southern rock scene, and co-founded Capricorn Records, home to The Allman Brothers and Charlie Daniels Band. Greg, however, remembers Walden as the man instrumental in propelling the career of soul singer Otis Redding. He was Redding's manager up until the singer's tragic plane crash in 1967, and helped expand his career into the mainstream. One savvy decision was to put Otis Redding and all of the key Stax Records players on the road in Europe in the summer of 1967. The competition between Redding and Stax acts like Sam & Dave fueled the performer's fire. The result was a high-energy, high-impact performance like the one he gave of "Can't Turn You Loose" — this week's DIJ pick.

Go to episode 23
news

Music News

Jim and Greg start the show by warning listeners that their tax-free downloading days might soon be over. With e-commerce sales exceeding $130 billion a year, and iTunes sales hitting $5 billion, it was only a matter of time before the states started to want a piece. This year nine states have considered digital download taxes, and five of those have already enacted them into law. Certain purchases will never be subject to tax if the vendor doesn‘t have a physical presence in that state, but the bigger issue is that whether it’s through taxes on sales, taxes on file-sharing, or taxes on internet usage, the government's going to get its piece of the pie.

Isaac Hayes died earlier this week at the age of 65. As Jim and Greg reveal, the self-taught musician started out as a songwriter at Stax Records in the early '60s. He became a“master arranger,”and his raps and braggadocio provided a prototype for modern hip hop. But, he is of course most well-known for his Oscar-winning song "Theme from Shaft," which was dramatic both musically and lyrically.

Go to episode 142