These albums took place during the time I was happening. I was really in real R & B and I’m still. These kinds of songs were very truthful. There is honesty that went with them. Those artists communicated to people, they were about the times and what happened at that time in our country. You listen to the songs, you know what happened. They were good musicians because they played out of the heart.
There were not many Polish on those records. Motown was great in his way, but in Memphis we did not have the Polish, we did not try to do it. Motown they have their methods of recording and we just got rid of the hips, with honesty whatever we did, we did it. As Rufus Thomas said, “In the north it’s Motown, but under the Mason-Dixon Line is your ass mine!”
The Essential Collection
Artist: Ray Charles
Release Date: 2002
I first figured out about Ray back in the 50’s. I just saw a man with sunglasses and I thought it was cool. He initially sounded a kind of gospel, with the call-and-response, but he converted the things to the electric Wurlitzer piano. It was another sound, I have never heard such a thing. Or something like that, the body of that piano looks like that piano like that piano. He has these songs, like “What I said” and “I have a wife” and “Georgia on my mind”, “Baby, you will not come home”, it’s just so emotional. Through this, it communicated. He has some standards there, he has some funk and R & B and even a country. Unfortunately, Ray is not with us, but this album can introduce him to the younger generation. Some of his long-term fans can find certain songs here they are looking for.
When a man loves a woman
Artist: Percy Sledge
Release Date: 1966
I played in Bowlegs Miller’s band when that song came out. We were very on the road and a man who loves a woman will be everything you want to hear on the radio. The music is simple, the lyrics line is simple, the whole song is very repetitive, but it drives the point home: If a husband loves a woman, she really loves her. All of these things can really happen. And he empowers the woman by saying that. It is like a covenant. It’s a classic. The song did not really affect me, but it opened me to fall in love.
Artist: Isaac Hayes
Release Date: 1971
I just had to put it in. The collection of songs made a lot of hits. I love “Love Theme”, where Shaft makes love for his wife, and also “Caf Reggio.” And “Soulsville”, who plays during shots when Shaft runs through Harlem, people can still relate to that song because the ghetto is still so. “Do your thing,” people will always connect to it. “Bumpy’s Lament” came after a Saturday night when I worked until dawn on the score in LA and in the morning I drove La Cienega home and there was all this paper that struck down the streets of what happened last night; As soon as I got home, I wrote that tune. Skag is still relevant, still alive and part of what it’s alive is sampling. Hip-hoppers monster many of my things so that the music remains in people’s minds after all these years. The subject of the songs is still active, and the sound is still there because of the sampling.
Artist: Otis Rescue
Release Date: 1992
Otis is important because he was such a power station in the day. He was excited to see and his sound was unique. Even his voice was unique. Most of the pop world reminds him of “Dock of the Bay” when he went out to Monterey to play for the hippies at the festival. Otis can really milk a tune. He had a begging thing for his voice. He will get all our emotions out of one word. Whatever Otis does, make it his.
Artist: Rufus Thomas
Release Date: 1997
Rufus believed in the song of humorous songs. He can drive a nursery and make something about it. In fact, he did it with ‘Old McDonald Had a Farm’ parts one and two! Rufus came from vaudeville and he put his craft there. So he made humor out of the leap like “The Preacher and the Bear” or “Itch and Scratch.” And he had some funky rhythm, such as “Boogie Ain ‘t Nuttin’ (and Gettin Down)” and “Turn off your damper”, and if you ever heard him do a slow voice, he has a slow voice had a nice vibrato People need some raw R & B, with some humor in it and Rufus has provided it. He was a communicator. It made you feel good, made you feel really good.
Absolutely The Best
Artist: Ike And Tina Turner
Release Date: 1998
Tina is from Nutbush, Tennessee, less than twenty miles from where I was born. She is the most exciting person to see on stage. And Ike, people forget that he is one of the ancestors of rock and roll. Sam Phillips had early at Sun Studios and Ike had a thing called Rocket88, one of the first rock and rolls. And he has plenty of experience to use with Tina. “I renounce you” is one of their earlier songs and they use the Ikettes very well on that one. Same with “Work Out Fine”, it is also a good use of the Friends Singers. They use reverb in the vampire very well there, as Phil Spector used with that “wall of sound.” Spector has “River Deep, Mountain High” with them and Tina made it her own, it’s a masterpiece. Same with the Stevie Wonder tune, “Living for the City.” Ike was a good manufacturer, and maybe you did not agree with his methods, but he got results, know what I’m saying?
Artist: James Brown
James has always made use of what’s happening at the moment, like the hotpants pitch. On songs like “Cold Sweat” and “I Feelin”, “that rhythm and the way they combined with the horns, he only got it. One of his big ballads that dominated the luggolves was” It’s A Man’s World. “It’s a small key to the keyboard, and another melody that glorifies the woman. The world would be nothing without a woman or a girl. James always had the right things to To say, “Daddy has a brand new bag” he said he had something new he did best now, now he has a brand new one. It was one of the great things about James that he continued to develop . my daughter sang six years with James. she would always tell me that she had learned a lot from Brown. he had such command, especially live when he plays, people have become crazy. this is what you hear on these songs.
Artist: Booker T. And The MG
Release Date: 1970
They cover some songs from the Beatles’ Abbey Road album and the cover is a confusion ysing to the picture on the front of Abbey Road, except that they cross McLemore Avenue. was the street on which Stax was. By Stax we all heard and we were really moved by the Beatles. We listened to some of the pauses they did, like on “Day Tripper”, and it will find its way into our music. The way they did their rhythms was influential, as on “Here comes the sun”, that rhythm was indifferent, but still tailored like some jazz songs. When the Stax group went to England, it was a big hit Booker T., Otis, Sam & Dave, we started a great relationship with British music and British audiences. A few years later, the Beatles had to come to Stax, but somebody let it go and spread like a field fire and girls who ran out and everything and they had to cancel.
Only the Strong Surviving
Artist: Original Soundtrack
Release Date: 2004
DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus made a documentary document about some of our Stax people who came out a few years ago, and everyone was still big. The whole movie was a cut of the ’60s and’ 70s. R & B had a great position in popular music. You hear the songs on this album, you can hear it. It’s the unmatched R & B it’s right in the chords and rhythm and topics the things that go into the hood are the thing that people love the fireplace, that’s all there. In the live show, people stretch out the songs a little if they want to capture the whole essence of the moment, maybe talking about what they’ve seen go back and down the stage. You have a live audience and you have to work your hearing. It’s not like a record, it’s a beautiful exchange. You get so much of the audience and you take your time and do it … do it until you’re happy.
Best of the Staples Singers
Artist: The Staples Singers
Release Date: 1990
The music just makes you feel good. The Staples people came out of true raw gospel and they were a family and they had their harmony as a family would have. It was raw and it was pure, “I’ll take you there,” that basin, that’s raw man. And Mavis, her voice cry, o man, she made the different sounds, guttural sounded deep in the throat, or she could improvise and scat. Pops played his guitar with the tremolo, the way you sing in the church. It took me back to the old days when I was a child in the church, you would keep your feet and it would dump small clouds on the floor. That’s what it makes you want to do. Thank you, Stax has the know-how to capture and present to the world. They came at a time when the civil rights struggle was in full bloom and they thought of better days. It was about brotherhood, which was necessary at those times.
Mr. Big Stuff
Artist: Jean Knight
Release Date: 1971
That tune “Mr. Great Things,” that’s what it’s all about. Just listen to the horns. Stax was always known for his horings. You know, Jean was different. She was not fat, but she was full of images, yet her voice had a sound that was very feminine. In many of her songs she is someone who has tried not to knock out something, a festive character. As in ‘You City Slicker’, she is a country girl and defends against the city’s husband or ‘Call me your fool if you want’ she just does not care what people say about her. The songs she chose meant something to her, such as: “Why do I stay with these memories,” it became clear that they were good memories and they went back to them.
Ultimate Isaac Hayes: Can you dig it? (CD 1)
Artist: Isaac Hayes
Release Date: 2005
This is an excellent collection of early Stax days, very comprehensive. It contains so many striking songs and shows how I became Black Moses and the # 1 seller at Stax. That’s how I came where I’m the start of the trip today. These tunes depict the times and give true soul music. As well as songs I wrote myself, there are things I wrote with my writing companion Dave Porter (“Help Me Love”), duette (myself and Dionne Warwick on “By The Time I Get To Phoenix / Say Little Prayer”) and something that I became famous for: to reinterpone other artist songs, such as Burt Bacharach’s “The Look Of Love” and “I Can not Help It (If I Still Fall In Love With You”), which originally became a country song by Hank was Williams. There are also some movie themes: “Shaft” (of course!) And “Theme of the Men.” See also “Title Theme of Three Tough Guys” recently used in Kill Bill: Volume One and Two.