2023 Fall

Classes are free  with your  UMASC Membership


The Story and Music of Stax Records

Instructor: Frank Johnson

Wednesdays • 8 classes • 9/20-11/8 • 1:00-3:00 PM

Class size 5-25 students
14 seats remaining
Location: Jewett 190 (hybrid)

In the 1960s Motown was called “Hitsville USA” but Stax Records was known as “Soulville USA”. A white brother and sister formed a small record label that was noted for it integrated management and musicians in deeply segregated Memphis.  The story of Stax is one of beating the odds, recruiting a cadre of talented songwriters and becoming the home of Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Booker T. & the MGs, Carla Thomas, the Staple Singers, Isaac Hayes, Eddie Floyd and many other artists. From its origins in 1958 to its demise in 1974, Stax produced  a phenomenal 243 top 100 R&B hits. In addition to the music we’ll explore the culture of Memphis and the unique characters who made Stax a success.

Frank Johnson has a lifelong passion and interest in African-American music: jazz, blues, rhythm & blues, soul, and Afro-Latin. He has a collection of over 4,000 albums covering these genres. In addition, he has a personal library of over 250 books on African-American musical styles, musicians and cultural influences.