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  1. #1
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    Stax Records Docuseries Set To Land At HBO

    From UDiscoverMusic.com-
    HBO is behind a new multi-part series telling the story of the legendary Memphis-based label, Stax Records.
    Jamila Wignot — who directed Ailey, a portrait of the choreographer Alvin Ailey, and has worked on HBO’s Axios — is directing, with OJ: Made in America boss Ezra Edelman and producer Caroline Waterlow serving as executive producers. Additionally, Nigel Sinclair and Nicholas Ferrall of White Horse Pictures, the company behind Martin Scorsese’s documentary No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, also are on-board as executive producers.
    The series, according to Deadline, “will explore the rise and fall of the label, which was founded in 1957 by Jim Stewart. Stewart, a country music fan, and his sister Estelle Axton, who mortgaged her house to afford recording equipment, released ‘Fool in Love’ by the Veltones under its original name Satellite Records. They then took over an old movie theater in Memphis with plans to turn it into a recording studio and discovering a coterie of R&B acts.”
    The label, as Deadline points out, eventually released records by Booker T. & the M.G.’s – Booker T was originally a session musician for the label – Otis Redding, who was officially on Stax’s sister label Volt, Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, and Sam & Dave. Al Bell joined in 1965 and became co-owner in 1969 when Axton became unhappy with her brother’s vision for the company.
    In 1972, the label launched Wattstax, a benefit concert to celebrate the anniversary of the 1965 Watts riots in Los Angeles. It featured Hayes, The Staple Singers and a young Richard Pryor and was filmed for a seminal documentary. However, in 1975-76 it was forced into bankruptcy.
    The documentary series – titled Stax – will tell this story and will feature rare and never-before-seen archive material.
    It is the latest documentary on the record label. Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon directed Respect Yourself in 2007.
    Stax, which is in production, comes from HBO Documentary Films in association with Concord Originals, the TV and film arm of Stax’s parent company.

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    Lot of heavy hitters behind this
    I'm there.

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    This sounds like it will be good. I can't wait to see it, as the 2007 doc really didn't have the time to go into real depth.

    I hasten to add that I hope it airs on HBO proper and not only HBO Max. It is rather frustrating when you think you have most of the cable channels and a new one pops up.

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    I hope they hammer Atlantic for basically stealing Stax’s catalog, every time I read/hear about it, it makes me mad

    interesting to speculate what would have happened if Stax kept their songs and wasn’t starting from square one

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    Any idea of air date?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimal Saint View Post
    Any idea of air date?
    There's no air date yet for the Stax Docuseries since it's still in production [according to the article in Deadline].


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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimal Saint View Post
    I hope they hammer Atlantic for basically stealing Stax’s catalog, every time I read/hear about it, it makes me mad

    interesting to speculate what would have happened if Stax kept their songs and wasn’t starting from square one
    Agreed. Wish Jim Stewart would have had the contract looked over before he signed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lockhartgary View Post
    Agreed. Wish Jim Stewart would have had the contract looked over before he signed it.
    Yes Indeed! They should've had a Lawyer [who knows the music business] go over that contract they had with Atlantic Records. And let's not forget the deal that Stax made with Columbia Records that led to them going out of business!

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    Is it safe to assume that when Atlantic distributed another label's music they acquired ownership of the masters? A number of Henry Stone's singles were distributed by Atlantic and still appear on Atlantic compilations, for example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lockhartgary View Post
    Is it safe to assume that when Atlantic distributed another label's music they acquired ownership of the masters? A number of Henry Stone's singles were distributed by Atlantic and still appear on Atlantic compilations, for example.
    Pretty much the standard operating procedure at Atlantic Records is that they end up owning the masters of the labels that they distribute [unless there was a clause in the contract prohibiting such an arrangement]. On the 'flipside' of that was Hi Records; their records were distributed by several record companies over the years including London, Cream, Motown, MCA, EMI and their current distributor Fat Possum Records yet that company still owns their catalog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    This sounds like it will be good. I can't wait to see it, as the 2007 doc really didn't have the time to go into real depth.

    I hasten to add that I hope it airs on HBO proper and not only HBO Max. It is rather frustrating when you think you have most of the cable channels and a new one pops up.
    It does sound good. Do you subscribe to HBO through a cable service? Is so, it is included with your subscription. Sign into HBO Max with your Cable ID and Password and you will have HBO

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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimal Saint View Post
    I hope they hammer Atlantic for basically stealing Stax’s catalog, every time I read/hear about it, it makes me mad

    interesting to speculate what would have happened if Stax kept their songs and wasn’t starting from square one
    Agreed! If we didn't lose Otis Redding back in Dec. 67, Stax would've been able to negotiate a much better distribution deal with Atlantic Records.

    PS: Sam & Dave should've been able to continue working with the Stax team even after the distribution deal with Atlantic ended. Their recordings after they left the label failed to measure up to the classics they did when working with the writers & musicians at Stax.

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    Quote Originally Posted by milven View Post
    It does sound good. Do you subscribe to HBO through a cable service? Is so, it is included with your subscription. Sign into HBO Max with your Cable ID and Password and you will have HBO
    Thanks for the info.

    I do have HBO but HBO Max only seems to be available during promo periods. But I haven't tried what you suggested so we shall see.

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