From Memphis With Love: Soul Sans Stax

Memphis Soul

While it’s understandable that some listeners would think that all the great soul music in Memphis came from the Stax/Volt stable, it’s simply not accurate. Not only were there other R&B imprints that challenged Stax’s standing in terms of their ability to score hits, there was no shortage of acts at other labels whose musical vision was the equal of the vaunted Stax roster. The Willie Mitchell-produced tracks Al Green cut for Memphis mainstay Hi Records in the ‘70s remain among the deepest, most transcendently sensual songs ever recorded in any genre, and they dominated both R&B and pop radio. The tunes James Carr laid down for the less celebrated Memphis label Goldwax Records were easily as intense as anything in the Otis Redding oeuvre. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the searingly soulful sounds that emerged from the musical bounty of the Bluff City.