While it's not really Stax anymore (it was purchased by the Concord Music Group in 2004) it is still worth noting that today marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most important record labels in American music history. The original Stax Recording Studios, which was demolished in 1989, was responsible for recording far too many artists to list here. Heavyweights like Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Booker T. and the MG's, Duke Ellington, Elvis Presley, Charlie Mingus, CCR, Ella Fitzgerald, Frederick Knight, Little Milton, Rosemary Clooney, Sam Cooke, Sarah Vaughn, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, The Dramatics, Sam & Dave, The Staple Singers, and even Barry Manilow walked through those doors to record in the studio responsible for the Memphis Sound.
Stax studios moments before demolition.
It's impossible to even fathem what could take place if an official 50th birthday bash was thrown in the honor of the infamous studio imprint, but the easiest way for Concord to make some money off of the name is to repackage and re-release some of the studios greatest hits into a 50th anniversary compilation. It is a bit silly considering most of the tracks on the comp are still in print, but for the novice, or someone who just wants a bunch of amazing songs on one CD, this is a worthwhile pick-up. Not to mention it kicks off the re-launch of the “new” Stax label.
It will be quite interesting to see how they move forward as a contemporary label, but Stax's place in history is firmly planted.