Discussing @StaxRecords and Its Impact on Memphis at @RhodesCollege

Bands, entertainment, events, Memphis, music, videos


The recent release of Robert Gordon’s superb new book Respect Yourself: The Rise and Fall of Stax Records has unleashed a flurry of renewed interest in Stax Records and its impact on Memphis. On March 6, 2014, a panel discussion was held at the student center at Rhodes College in Memphis, discussing the history and significance of Stax Records on the city of Memphis. Such panels had been held before, but this one was significant, as it featured voices from Stax that have not been heard quite as often- drummer Willie Hall, songwriter Bettye Crutcher, bluesman Don Nix and pianist/songwriter Marvel Thomas. Don Nix spoke forcefully and at length about how Stax was a different sort of place racially compared to Memphis at large until after the assasination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Bettye Crutcher talked about how she became a songwriter, and Willie Hall talked about his early career as a drummer at Stax. Altogether it was a fun and uplifting experience.

Moonwalking With The Klondike Dance, Drum and Bugle Corps Back in 1970

Black History, entertainment, events, History, music

Anyone who has ever been to a majorette jamboree knows that majorettes and drummers are a big part of Memphis culture. So I was really interested when I came across this July 4, 1970 article from the Commercial Appeal about the Klondike Dance, Drum and Bugle Corps, which for one thing proves that the roots of drumming and drilling in Memphis go back at least that far (legendary drummer Willie Hall claims back to 1969). Also of interest is the reference to the dancers doing the “moon walk”, so that dance is clearly older than Michael Jackson, and might have come from Memphis!