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  1. #1

    Muscle Shoals Documentary

    I just happened to catch this documentary on PBS last night. It was very good and informative. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

    http://video.pbs.org/video/2365192960/
    Last edited by nysister; 11-25-2014 at 03:42 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    I bought this documentary last winter. Great stuff, and revealed a lot about Rick Hall, and what drives him. Good thing he loves R&B music!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    I bought this documentary last winter. Great stuff, and revealed a lot about Rick Hall, and what drives him. Good thing he loves R&B music!
    soulster......LOL!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by nysister View Post
    I just happened to catch this documentary on PBS last night. It was very good and informative. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

    http://video.pbs.org/video/2365192960/
    I enjoyed it, went to bed early when Lynard Skynard came on, not my favorite group. This would've worked in 90 minutes, but it kept going on and on. Funny how people always leave the flock and start their own deal, thinking they can do better than the original.

    Would've liked more of Wilson Pickett, thought that was great ... of course he later resurface at Stax.

    Interesting stuff, good think I had the captions on for my mom or we both wouldn't have understood what Keith Richards was saying.

  5. #5
    I saw the full documentary as well as an abbreviated version on PBS. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wonder how many people were shocked when they discovered that the Swampers were a mostly white outfit that was arguably as tight, inventive, and influential in R&B/soul as the Funk Brothers.

  6. #6
    I rented the BD from Netflix last year and was impressed with the audio tracks. It'll make you turn it up and enjoy right from the start with Pickett's music. The picture quality is as great as the music. It's a shocker for those that thought that it was black musicians playing for artist like Pickett and Aretha. Those guys were as good as anybody else in the world of soul music. It's available for streaming on Netflix also.
    Last edited by mr_june; 11-26-2014 at 12:00 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by nysister View Post
    soulster......LOL!
    Why are you laughing?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by tsull1 View Post
    Would've liked more of Wilson Pickett, thought that was great ... of course he later resurface at Stax.
    What are you talking about? Pickett was signed to Atlantic. Jerry Wexler thought he would work great recording at Stax for their sound soon after he signed him. But, when Jim Stewart and Wexler had a falling out, Wexler started sending the Atlantic Artists to Muscle Shoals. Pickett was never on the Stax label, nor was he ever a Stax artist. Sam & Dave were never signed to Stax, either.

  9. #9
    Sam and Dave were Stax artists.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Oz View Post
    Sam and Dave were Stax artists.
    No, they weren't. That is a fact. They were always under contract to Atlantic. Check it out. Wexler allowed S&D to be on the Stax label because he thought it would be good for their image and sound.

    When Wexler took all of the Stax master tapes in 1968, Sam And Dave were taken back with them. That is why, in 1968, the Sam & Dave records were on Atlantic. The duo were always theirs.
    Last edited by soulster; 11-26-2014 at 01:53 PM.

  11. #11
    I guess. I suppose it's more correct to say they had records released by Stax (which most people would suggest makes them Stax artists). But you're correct, they were signed to Atlantic.

  12. #12
    Hi!

    My review of the DVD, including my travel report to Muscle Shoals at

    http://www.soulexpress.net/deep2_2014.htm#muscleshoals

    Best regards
    Heikki

  13. #13
    Otis Redding was also an Atlantic artist. Even though he was deceased when Atlantic & Stax split, his masters were then taken back by Atlantic and issued on Atco.

    This DVD was much better, in my opinion, than 20 Feet from Stardom. It made more sense to someone unfamiliar with the topic. This should have won the award.

  14. #14
    I liked both of them because I'm a big fan of Southern Soul and I've always appreciated the contributions of background singers. Both of them were well done, in my opinion. And I'll probably be watching both again soon.

  15. #15
    The big part of the magic of Muscle Shoals, Fame, Stax, Hitsville, and all the rest, is the style of the musicians, and, of course, the production, meaning the recording gear and the producers. A record like Wilson Pickett's "Land of 1000 Dances" could never have been made at Stax, or even at Atlantic Studios. Aretha Franklin's "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" started out at Muscle Shoals, but ended in N.Y.. The players may have been the Swampers, but Atlantic, with Tom Dowd behind the board, changed the sound, the feeling anyway. It's just fortunate that Aretha's music didn't suffer for it.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    What are you talking about? Pickett was signed to Atlantic. Jerry Wexler thought he would work great recording at Stax for their sound soon after he signed him. But, when Jim Stewart and Wexler had a falling out, Wexler started sending the Atlantic Artists to Muscle Shoals. Pickett was never on the Stax label, nor was he ever a Stax artist. Sam & Dave were never signed to Stax, either.
    But Sam and Dave did have releases on the STAX label, their best 3 LP's and several singles. If somebody saw or owned one they would think they were STAX artists wouldn't they? Attitude! Tin Hats on BTW
    Last edited by tamla617; 11-27-2014 at 05:36 PM.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by tamla617 View Post
    But Sam and Dave did have releases on the STAX label, their best 3 LP's and several singles. If somebody saw or owned one they would think they were STAX artists wouldn't they? Attitude! Tin Hats on BTW
    That's the way I saw it. Stax considers them to be their artist on their web page. But soulster is correct that they weren't signed ​to Stax, so technically they were an Atlantic act.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Oz View Post
    That's the way I saw it. Stax considers them to be their artist on their web page. But soulster is correct that they weren't signed ​to Stax, so technically they were an Atlantic act.
    Thats correct. I have the 3 volumes of the STAX story 59-73 I think. There are glaring holes in the "story" as quite a few singles were owned by Atlantic. The distribution agreements,Recording Agreements and Recording contracts muddy the waters.Some Otis Redding,Booker T,Sam and Dave tracks were missing,They had appeared on an Atlantic Story box set.Shame really as it isn't the whole STAX story.

  19. #19
    Wexler might have been more of a businessman than a music man. And a very thin-skinned businessman at that. But you can't argue with success, though.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    No, they weren't. That is a fact. They were always under contract to Atlantic. Check it out. Wexler allowed S&D to be on the Stax label because he thought it would be good for their image and sound.

    When Wexler took all of the Stax master tapes in 1968, Sam And Dave were taken back with them. That is why, in 1968, the Sam & Dave records were on Atlantic. The duo were always theirs.
    http://www.target.com/p/stax-50-a-50...FRWRfgodxpUAUA

    Otis' listed, Sam & Dave listed on this STAX CD ... not sure how they can get their music on STAX if they weren't Stax artist.

  21. #21

  22. #22
    Early Otis Redding albums on Volt label, a subsidiary of STAX ... might be worth looking that up. Might also be worth seeing the Stax documentary, where Steve Cropper said the beginning of the end for Stax was when Otis Redding died in the plane crash. He mentioned several riveting recording sessions at Stax with Otis.

    I think I'd probably trust Steve Cropper. The Stax documentary also showed Sam & Dave recording AT Stax studios ... pretty amazing for not being Stax artists.

  23. #23
    Otis Redding's debut album, "Pain in My Heart" released on Stax:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otis_Redding

  24. #24
    Sam & Dave "Soul Man" 45, picture right here with a Stax label:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hNFB7CAGwg

    See bio of Sam & Dave, part of it is called "The Stax years."

  25. #25
    Both Otis Redding and Sam and Dave were Stax/Volt artists, but they really belonged to
    Atlantic. So when Stax broke away, Atlantic took them.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    Why are you laughing?
    I agreed with what you said, I was just laughing at what would have been if he did not like R&B. Forgive my crazy sense of humor.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by tamla617 View Post
    But Sam and Dave did have releases on the STAX label, their best 3 LP's and several singles.
    I never said they weren't on the Stax label. I have their old 45s. But, they were signed to Atlantic the whole time. Remember, Atlantic owned Stax through some slick contractual moves that got by Jim Stewart.

  28. #28
    Atlantic distributed Stax/Volt. The split was a result of Jim Stewart and his partner, Estelle Axton, his sister, thinking Atlantic was taking too much of the profits. This was discussed by one or both of them in one of the books written several years ago about Stax. Carla Thomas' first records, including her first hit, "Gee Whiz", were picked up and issued nationally by Atlantic. That's when, I believe, the association began.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by rrussi View Post
    Atlantic distributed Stax/Volt. The split was a result of Jim Stewart and his partner, Estelle Axton, his sister, thinking Atlantic was taking too much of the profits. This was discussed by one or both of them in one of the books written several years ago about Stax. Carla Thomas' first records, including her first hit, "Gee Whiz", were picked up and issued nationally by Atlantic. That's when, I believe, the association began.
    But, it was also in that distribution contract that it was stipulated that if Atlantic was ever sold, they would retain the Stax/Volt masters produced under their distribution deal. So, in effect, Atlantic already owned Stax's intellectual property. And, of course, since S&D were signed to Atlantic, Stax couldn't record them anymore. But, all of that is OK because, for about six years, Stax, distributed by Gulf+Western, was a bigger, badder record company. Their fortunes changed when they changed distribution to CBS, and Clive Davis was ousted from CBS.
    Last edited by soulster; 11-29-2014 at 08:39 AM.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by tsull1 View Post
    http://www.target.com/p/stax-50-a-50...FRWRfgodxpUAUA

    Otis' listed, Sam & Dave listed on this STAX CD ... not sure how they can get their music on STAX if they weren't Stax artist.
    I would imagine that CD was a collaberation between Stax and Atlantic Tsull1.

    What has always mystified me is how back in 1993 a previously unissued OTIS REDDING track appeared on this C.D. as I'd been under the impression that Atlantic had the rights to all of his Stax recordings (which is why Atco were releasing his material throughout 1968/9) ..

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Do-Crossover...s_all_1#disc_1

    Roger

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
    I would imagine that CD was a collaberation between Stax and Atlantic Tsull1.

    What has always mystified me is how back in 1993 a previously unissued OTIS REDDING track appeared on this C.D. as I'd been under the impression that Atlantic had the rights to all of his Stax recordings (which is why Atco were releasing his material throughout 1968/9) ..

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Do-Crossover...s_all_1#disc_1

    Roger
    Roger, although Atlantic Records has the rights to nearly all of Otis Redding's Stax recordings, there are a few of his recordings that do not belong to Atlantic. Basically, these are recordings that had not been released by the mid-70s.

    In 1992, Fantasy Records released a CD with 22 previously unissued tracks by Otis Redding entitled Remember Me. The most noteworthy of these tracks was "Trick or Treat", one of the few songs that the prolific Stax song-writing team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter had written specifically for Otis Redding. In the UK, Ace Records released this CD under the title It's Not Just Sentimental.

    In the notes to Remember Me, Bill Belmont explains the ownership agreement concerning Otis Redding's Stax recordings. The following is an excerpt from those notes:

    "The previously unreleased masters in this Compact Disc were assembled from the Stax/Volt library of tapes purchased by Fantasy Records in 1977.

    Stax/Volt's distribution agreement with Atlantic Records was in effect until early 1968. One of the conditions of the agreement was that Atlantic had the rights to release all Otis Redding masters for a period of four years from the termination of the agreement, after which they reverted to Stax. Atlantic did in fact put out several Redding albums from his final sessions in 1967 (Dock of the Bay, The Immortal Otis Redding, Love Man, Tell the Truth) and a live date (In Person at the Whiskey au Go Go) was issued posthumously in'68. The balance of Otis's set at the Whiskey was the only other Redding material actually released by Atlantic (Recorded Live, 1982). This was not Atlantic property per the agreement, but it was licensed to them to them in error, which they acknowledged."

    Besides the material on the Remember Me CD, Fantasy (now owned by Concord Music Group) and Ace Records have released numerous alternate takes of Otis recordings on compilation CDs. These alternate takes and outtakes are not the property of Atlantic Records. Anything on the master tapes that had not been released by the time the tapes reverted back to Stax now belong to the current owners of Stax.

    There is also another Otis Redding recording that does not belong to Atlantic. While Otis was in Muscle Shoals producing an Arthur Conley session, he recorded a crude demo of the song "You Left The Water Running." In 1977, an edited version of this demo, with overdubbed musical augmentation including horns, was released as a single on Stone Records. This overdubbed version has shown up on numerous Otis compilations since its initial release. The original unedited (and without the overdubs) version was released in 2011 by Ace Records on the Fame Studios Story 1961-73 box set.
    Last edited by Nothing But Soul; 11-29-2014 at 04:31 PM.

  32. #32
    Great thread, everybody. I wish we had more like this one with good discussion and music history to boot.

  33. #33
    That's fascinating info on the OTIS REDDING recordings Nothing But Soul and explains a lot, though it does make me wonder why on earth Stax would have agreed to such terms in the first place.

    Roger

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
    That's fascinating info on the OTIS REDDING recordings Nothing But Soul and explains a lot, though it does make me wonder why on earth Stax would have agreed to such terms in the first place.

    Roger
    I think Stax agreed to such terms because those terms were buried in the fine print. It's obvious to me that Jerry Wexler and the folks at Atlantic Records had a lot slicker lawyers than Jim Stewart and the folks at Stax had.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Nothing But Soul View Post
    I think Stax agreed to such terms because those terms were buried in the fine print. It's obvious to me that Jerry Wexler and the folks at Atlantic Records had a lot slicker lawyers than Jim Stewart and the folks at Stax had.
    Jerry Wexler was a lawyer, and I don't think Jim Stewart had one present.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Oz View Post
    I saw the full documentary as well as an abbreviated version on PBS. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wonder how many people were shocked when they discovered that the Swampers were a mostly white outfit that was arguably as tight, inventive, and influential in R&B/soul as the Funk Brothers.
    Agree that The Swampers were an amazing group of musicians with a very unique sound..I would also argue that The Funk Brothers massive and incredible body of work over a 12 year period of time puts them head and shoulders above any other ensemble of that era. I would also submit that Slutskys Standing In The Shadows Of Motown documentary made possible all the similarly formatted documentaries about musical and vocalist ensembles which have followed in recent years..

  37. #37
    I agree with Stubass. Jim Stewart believed in and trusted Jerry Wexler. Its called the Music Business but the emphasis must always be on the business.

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