Friday, June 22, 2007

Celebrating Soulsville, USA


Tonight is the "50 Years of Stax" reuinion concert here in Memphis. As you probably know, Stax Records was a cultural/musical phenomenon rivaled only by Motown, Elvis, and the British Invasion. Stax recording artists included: Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, the Staples Singers, Wilson Pickett, Albert King, Booker T & the MGs, Luther Ingram, Rufus and Carla Thomas... and the list goes on and on. (For a great history, check out Rob Bowman's Soulsville USA: The Story of Stax Records.) Some of those artists are reuniting tonight for a concert to be hosted by Chuck D.

Of course, I arrived back in Memphis too late (and too poor) to get tickets, but I imagine it will be a night to remember. I love, love, LOVE Stax music. It reminds me of home. It's gritty and sexy and soulful and raucous. It makes you hungry. And its sound is as big and as mysteriously beautiful as the Mississippi River.

So, everyone, find yourself an old Stax recording and give it another listen today. I recommend Wilson Pickett's "Mustang Sally." It's one of those songs that you've probably heard ad nauseum by every cover band in every dive-bar in the country... hell, you've probably drunkenly sung along to it more than once. Ride, Sally, Ride! But listen to the original again. And try to figure out just what it might take for you to write a line like: One of these early mornings, you're gonna be wiping those weeping eyes...

3 comments:

Chet said...

Chet hates "Mustang Sally." I mean, it's clearly about Sally getting her rocks off, right? Is that an appropriate message for a children's song?

LEIGH said...

chet, are you, perchance, any relation to Buck Chilicock?

Chet said...

Buck Chilicock's my distant cuz. But my name is cooler. And I emerge through sobriety as well as inebriation.