Saturday, November 9, 2013

Gimme Stacks of Stax!

Everyone knows my favorite music is the Blues; but, you can't get into Blues and not enjoy that great sound that came out of Memphis from Stax Recording Studios.  If you're ever in Memphis, be sure to go to the Stax Museum!

My friend, Joe Frietze, has shared a recent link with an interview of Booker T. Jones of "Booker T. and the MGs".  Click here to hear that (but, be ready because the podcast has more cussing there than when I'm driving in traffic, though not during the Booker T interview).

This reminds me of a time when I was younger, back in the early 2000's, and was invited to a recording studio in town where a guy who once had the job of mixing recordings at Stax.  I won't give names because I don't know if it would get anybody in trouble, and I don't want them bothered. 

But, I didn't know what laid before me that day.  I still get weepy when I tell the story in person, too.

I was given a tour of the recording studio and the guy explained that, "back when I worked at Stax, we had these tapes on tracks and I could mix from any track, silence most of them, or listen to one individually.  I kept one tape that was never mixed down which I'll share with you in a bit."

So, after looking at those different collections, I was led into a recording studio.  There were microphones, speakers, a drum set...behind me was the big window and you could see the table and the machinery on which music is recorded, mixed, and played.  "Stand here on this spot, face the drums, and close your eyes for a minute."

I did.  He went to the booth and then, from those massive speakers came some music and a voice, "okay, okay, let's play it like this."  I recognized the voice and my heart began to beat fast.  Some music, and then some singing.

It was the voice of Otis Redding, and his smooth vocals were right there in that room with me.  Right in front of me!  And as I'm listening to him sing the music slowly fades and there is just the voice of Otis.  My eyes are closed, and I focus solely on that moment, that voice, that talent and am overwhelmed with emotion.

Tears flowed at that beautiful moment, one that to this day is still so special that I feel the warmth of a bittersweet happiness and emotion when I  think of that story.

Otis Redding.  What a talent, cut short, and just fantastic to have had that story in my life to tell.

Enjoy these links:


Of coure, there's this tune that is part of the intro to the Blues Brothers:

No comments:

Post a Comment