As we observe Black History Month, I'd like to bring up some black history that I know a little bit about.
You see, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Stax Records. The record label was founded by Jim Stewart and his sister, Estelle Axton, in a converted movie theater on McLemore Avenue. As a teenager listening to Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and Wilson Pickett, I remember being mesmerized by the distinctive signature sound of Memphis Soul. Much of that distinctive quality can be traced to the work of Booker T. Jones and his group, Booker T. and the MG's, the house band of Stax Records.
This weekend at the Grammy Awards, Booker T. and the MG's will receive a lifetime achievement award and the late Estelle Axton will be remembered with the Trustees Award. The recognition is well deserved.
Happy Birthday, Stax Records.