Memphis, Tennessee 38106
On this very spot in 1959, brother and sister team Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton began operating Satellite Records in an old movie theatre building. The studio and the area surrounding it would come to be known as "Soulsville, USA."
On this very spot in 1961, Stewart and Axton changed their company's name to avoid conflict with a Satellite Records in California. Using the first two letters of their last names, they renamed their label Stax Records. In this same year, Stax had its first Top Ten hit with "Gee Whiz" recorded by a young Carla Thomas.
On this very spot in 1962, Booker T. and the MGs composed and recorded "Green Onions". The song grew out of an informal jam session.
On this very spot in 1963 Rufus Thomas recorded "Walking the Dog", which became a Top Ten single for Stax.
On this very spot in 1966, Sam & Dave recorded "Hold On! I'm A Comin'," and Eddie Floyd recorded "Knock on Wood".
On this very spot in 1967, The Bar Kays recorded "Soul Finger", Sam & Dave recorded "Soul Man", and Otis Redding recorded "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay".
On this very spot in 1969, Johnnie Taylor recorded "Who's Making Love?"
On this very spot in 1971, Isaac Hayes recorded the musical track for the "Theme from Shaft", and The Staple Singers recorded "Respect Yourself" and "I'll Take You There".
On this very spot in 1972, Luther Ingram recorded "If Loving You Is Wrong".
On this very spot in 1973, The Staple Singers recorded "If You're Ready (Come Go with Me)".
On this very spot in 1974, Shirley Brown recorded "Woman to Woman", which was the last big hit for Stax Records.
On this very spot between 1961 and 1974, other artists who recorded here included Albert King, Richard Pryor, Moms Mabley.
On this very spot on December 19, 1975, Stax was forced into involuntary bankruptcy by its creditors, and the doors were locked. Two years later, the label's master tapes were sold at auction for $1.3 million to Fantasy Records in California.
On this very spot in 1989, the building was demolished by a church planning to build a community center. Instead, the lot lay empty for more than ten years.
On this very spot in April 2000, a "Ground Shakin' Ground Breakin'" ceremony was held for what would become the Stax Museum of American Soul, Stax Music Academy, and a performing arts center.
BONUS SPOT: Although Aretha Franklin never recorded at Stax, she was born less than ten blocks away at 406 Lucy Avenue.
Submitted by: Marshall Whitten
Visit This Very Spot
This spot is operated as a museum open to the public. For complete visitor's information, including hours of operation, admission fees, parking, and maps & directions, visit the official website at www.soulsvilleusa.com.
Location: About one mile southeast of downtown Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis is located in the southwest corner of Tennessee.
Nearest Major Airport: Memphis International Airport MEM
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