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  1. #1

    PODCAST: Deanie Parker [Stax Records] from "Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters"

    Hi, Gang!
    Here's a cool interview with Deanie Parker
    Ep. 213 - DEANIE PARKER ["Ain't That a Lot of Love"]

    Stax Records legend Deanie Parker talks about writing songs for Otis Redding, Albert King, William Bell, and Carla Thomas, dives deep on what made the Stax environment so special, and shines a light on the recently-released box sets of forgotten Stax songwriter demos.

    Scott and Paul discuss the wild story behind the monumental box set Written in Their Soul: The Stax Songwriter Demos.

    PART TWO: Our in-depth interview with Deanie Parker

    While still in high school, Deanie Parker won a Memphis talent contest and an audition for Jim Stewart at Stax Records. He signed her and released her debut single, on the Volt label, in 1963. The self-penned “My Imaginary Guy” became a regional hit, but the life of a touring artist was not for Parker. She became the first Black employee at Stax’s Satellite Record Shop before joining the label staff as the company’s first publicist in 1964. Learning on the job while studying journalism at Memphis State, Parker eventually became the company’s Vice President of Public Affairs.

    One of the first female publicists in the music industry, she worked closely with Isaac Hayes, Booker T & the MG’s, Rufus and Carla Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, and others. Wearing many hats at Stax, Deanie continued to write songs with colleagues such as Steve Cropper, Booker T. Jones, Eddie Floyd, Bettye Crutcher, Mack Rice, Mable John, and Homer Banks, with whom she penned the soul classic “Ain’t That a Lot of Love.” The list of Stax artists who recorded her songs includes Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, William Bell, Sam & Dave, The Staple Singers, and more. Her other writing skills were put to use penning liner notes for classic albums such as Sam & Dave’s Hold On, I’m Comin’, Albert King’s :Born Under a Bad Sign, Otis Redding’s Live in Europe, and Shirley Brown’s Woman to Woman.

    From 1987 through 1995, Deanie served as the Assistant Director of the Memphis in May International Festival. A tireless champion of the Stax legacy, she became the first President and CEO of Soulsville, the nonprofit organization established to build and manage the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Stax Music Academy, and the Soulsville Charter School. She was appointed to the Tennessee Arts Commission in 2004 and, in 2009, was awarded two Emmy awards for the I Am a Man documentary short, for which she was an executive producer and the title song composer.

    The list of artists outside the Stax family who’ve covered Deanie Parker’s songs includes The Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, Darlene Love, Taj Mahal, Three Dog Night, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Band, New York Dolls, Simply Red, Hall & Oates, and many others. She is a co-producer and co-liner notes writer of the seven-CD collection Written in Their Soul: The Stax Songwriter Demos, and was recently announced as a 2023 inductee into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.

    1 hour 28 minutes / September 2023

  2. #2
    I recently got ahold of the box set and played it. Quite a collection and brings new dimension to the history of Stax and of soul music. Well worth listening to and kudos to Deanie Parker for her work as a songwriter, executive and advocate for the history of Stax.

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Ralph Terrana

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