Recommended DVD Releases #1

I recieved this press release today and being one who appreciates the foundations of Black Music, it's pretty hot that Stax Records (record label home of such classic Black Music artists such as Issac Hayes, Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MGs, etc.) currently has out some documentary and live concert DVDs.

We'll be doing reviews and some giveaways of these joints on the meantime, check out the press release description and the video promotional streams we have (shouts to Gibran & The Room Service Group folks for the hookup):

Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story Promo Trailer - Windows Media Player

Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story Promo Trailer - RealPlayer

From the Press Release:

To celebrate their 50th anniversary, Stax Records is proud to present a trilogy of DVD's, documenting the influential artists and timeline of Stax Records. Starting with the "Dreams to Remember : The Legacy of Otis Redding" DVD, which features a wealth of staggering performances, re-mastered sound and video as well as in-depth interviews with those who helped Otis write and create his incredible music. Following up is the "Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story" DVD, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. "Respect Yourself" provides a first-hand account of what really happened on the streets and behind the doors from celebrated musicians such as Issac Hayes, Brooker T. Jones, Steve Cooper and a whole list of others. Lastly, the "Stax/ Volt Revue-live in Norway 1967" DVD, marks the first-ever official release of this historic concert.

Dreams To Remember: The Legacy Of Otis Redding features classic performances with re-mastered sound and video as well as in-depth interviews with those who helped Otis write and create his incredible music with stirring reminiscences from his wife Zelma and daughter Karla. Also interviewed are Steve Cropper, who co- wrote with Otis and played guitar on virtually every record he made at Stax; Wayne Jackson, the trumpet player for the Mar-Keys/Memphis Horns who also played on most of Otis' recordings, and Jim Stewart, the founder of Stax Records, who gave his first interview in 13 years for this DVD. These tender and insightful interviews paint a portrait of Otis as an amazing singer, artist, songwriter, and family man. The story begins with memories of his first amateur talent contests and concludes with the touching recollections of the final days leading up to the tragic plane crash on December 10, 1967.

In the "Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story" DVD, 1957, a square, white bank teller who knew nothing about African- American music launched a record label with only a tape recorder in a barn on the outskirts of Memphis, Tennessee. Over the next two decades, the racially-integrated Stax studio - which had moved to a theater in South Memphis by 1960 - would produce a string of hits that defined the "Memphis Sound": "Soul Man," ", (Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay," ", Green Onions," ", Midnight Hour," ", I'll Take You There," ", Respect Yourself," ", Theme from Shaft,"'Shaft', and many more. "We were so busy working and having fun that we didn't realize the impact that we were creating at the time," says Stax superstar Isaac Hayes. Stax Records would become one of the largest and most successful black-owned companies in the nation and a virtual soundtrack to the Civil Rights movement before succumbing in 1975 to financial and legal battles. The film will detail the story behind the legendary label that launched a who's-who of soul music greats: Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, the Staple Singers, Isaac Hayes, Eddie Floyd, Carla and Rufus Thomas, Albert King, and Booker T. and the MGs, to name a just a few.

"The Stax/Volt Revue Live In Norway 1967" DVD features for the first time on this 75- minute concert DVD are 18 classic full-length performances by some of the greatest soul artists of all time. Highlights include an amazing five-song set by the great Otis Redding and a blistering four songs by Sam & Dave. Also featured are performances by the legendary Booker T & the MGs, Arthur Conley, Eddie Floyd, and the Mar-Keys. Issued with the full cooperation of the artists or their estates, this DVD captures the Stax/Volt Revue on an amazing night during one of most legendary and important concert tours of the last five decades. Otis Redding delivers jaw-dropping versions of "Shake," "Satisfaction," the only known filmed concert performance of "Fa-Fa-Fa- Fa-Fa (Sad Song)" and a six-minute version of "Try A Little Tenderness" in which he comes back for four encores. Sam & Dave show why they were nicknamed "Double Dynamite," with powerful performances of "Hold On! I'm Comin'," "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby" and a chilling version of "You Don't Know Like I Know." Other highlights include Booker T & The MGs' scorching rendition of "Green Onions," Arthur Conley's definitive version of his big hit "Sweet Soul Music," Eddie Floyd's soulful "Raise Your Hand," and the Mar-Keys' grooving take on their top-five hit "Last Night."