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AES Section Meeting Reports

San Francisco - December 17, 2008

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Summary

The catalogue of Stax Records is now owned by Concord Music, who in turn owns Fantasy Studios and the Saul Zaentz Film Centre. The DVD was mastered in the same projection room that was used for this presentation.

"Respect Yourself", narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, traces the astonishing history of Stax, from a modest neighborhood hangout to a cultural and political empire. Stax is the story of birth and re-birth and the soul of music which keeps it alive. The southern city of Memphis was a hotbed of racial tension, but that stopped at the doors to Stax Records. The open-door policy led to renowned house band Booker T. and the MGs, one of America's first inter-racial musical groups. Other artists like Otis Redding and Sam & Dave soon joined the roster, as well songwriter Issac Hayes. With songs like "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay", "Soul Man" and "Knock on Wood", Stax solidified its reputation as a hit-making machine, producing a massive catalogue of Top 100 records.

Through all this, the label overcame hustlers, bad business decisions, tragic deaths and a number of financial meltdowns. But with each reincarnation, Stax grew — branching out into film production, Broadway, the Black Power movement -- changing the world because it didn't know it wasn't supposed to. "Respect Yourself" provides first-hand accounts of what really happened on the streets and behind studio doors from celebrated musicians such as Issac Hayes, Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn and Mavis Staples, as well as label president Al Bell, Rev. Jesse Jackson and others. With rare performances, previously unreleased home movies and new recordings, Grammy┬«-nominated filmmakers Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville (Muddy Waters Can't Be Satisfied) present the first comprehensive look at Stax Records, the greatest soul label of all time.

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