Hi everyone. Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing. But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?
(Image found online. Original source unknown.)
I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.
Record labels are as much a part of musical history as the singers and musicians signed to them. One of the labels very close to my heart is Stax Records. Based in Memphis, TN and founded in 1957 as Satellite Records but it changed to Stax in 1961 when it began sharing the same offices as one of their subsidiaries, Volt Records. The name Stax was derived from combining the first two initials of the owners last names, ST from Jim Stewart and AX from his sister, Estelle Axton.
The label’s house band was Booker T & The MG’s and featured recording artists like Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Rufus Thomas and his daughter, Carla Thomas, Isaac Hayes, The Bar-Kays, Eddie Floyd, Albert King and Wilson Pickett, who sings today’s song which he co-wrote with The MG’s guitarist, Steve Cropper. By 1967 the label saw its greatest success as well as the loss of its heart, soul and much of its financial stability after the deaths of Otis Redding and four members of The Bar-Kays in a plane crash that December. Despite success in the 1970’s by The Staple Singers and Shirley Brown the label filed bankruptcy at the end of 1975. By 1982 it became a reissue label and in 2003 The Stax Museum of American Soul Music opened in Memphis. But for a little while, Stax was the record label with the most soul in the south. And one listen to today’s song by The “Wicked” Pickett proves that point beautifully.
“I’m gonna wait till the stars come out
And see that twinkle in your eyes
I’m gonna wait ’till the midnight hour
That’s when my love begins to shine.”
Steve Cropper (L) and Wilson Pickett (R), both circa 1965. (Images found online. Original sources unknown.)
Wilson Pickett: “In The Midnight Hour” (1965, written by Steve Cropper & Wilson Pickett).
I do not own the rights to anything. I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.
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