A Tribute to Stax, 1959-1968 by djcrimson

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Update: Read more than you ever wanted to know about me in this interview with the good man Mr. DJ Delgado.

A couple years ago I was hanging out at a friend’s house when I came across his box set of the complete Stax singles from 1959-1968. I knew a little bit about the label, that it was sometimes called a “southern Motown” and that it had a pretty deep catalog of soul music, but I was far from an expert. The thought occurred to me that I should make a mixtape from all those songs. It seemed like a simple enough idea at the time.

To keep the project from getting out of hand, I stuck with those early years, when Isaac Hayes was just a low-profile songwriter behind the scenes and the Staple Singers were an unsigned gospel family touring churches in Chicago. I started with some of the obvious hits, the Otis Redding and Sam & Dave classics that helped define soul music. From there I had to pay tribute to a few of the samples that are instantly recognizable to hip hop fans of my generation.

But that was just the start of things. There were too many funky drum breaks, classic guitar riffs, and haunting lyrics to just leave it at that. Pretty soon I was embracing all of it: the sentimental love songs, the uptempo burners, the down-home blues, even the cheesy novelty dance songs. The more I sank my teeth into the music, the more intricate the mix became. I finally decided to throw everything I had into the pot: scratching, mixing, layering elements on top of each other, original production, session players, and bringing in K.nightshift (of The Dime) and Bink$ Win$ton to put the icing on the cake with their vocals. (Little did I know just how far they would knock it out of the park–if you don’t believe me, check what they did with “Green Onions.”) This mix was partly inspired by conversations about music on my front steps with the guys, so to bring it full circle we got together at the end and parlayed about the music and the era while the recorders ran.

So here it is, the product of so many late nights behind the turntables and in the studio. I’ve asked myself many times while I was putting it together if it was too soft, too hard, too dated, too out there, too sappy, too vulgar for people to “get” it. Then again, who cares.

Big thanks to everyone who played a part in putting this together: The Dime, K.nightshift, Bink$ Win$ton, Conrad Anthony (bass & guitar player on “My Type”), Jeremy Goody at Megasonic Sound, Charles Stella (mastering engineer), Malachi Padron (cd pressing) Reid McNally (photography), Justin Marine/Mixerfriendly (graphic design), and Hiro at East Bay Digital. A special shout out goes to my crew, the Record Rockers, for all the support and inspiration, and to all the dope djs out there who do what they love. And finally, thanks to the family of musicians at Stax who brought this timeless music into the world.

–DJ Crimson

Tracklist:

1. Don’t Have to Shop Around – The Mad Lads
2. I Thank You – Sam & Dave
3. The Memphis Train – Rufus Thomas
4. I’m Going Home – Prince Conley
5. Knock On Wood – Otis Redding
6. Tramp – Otis & Carla
7. Hold On I’m Comin’ – Sam & Dave
8. Pop-Eye Stroll – The Mar-Keys
Reefer Man (Skit) /
9. Making Love and Sniffing Cocaine – DJ Crimson
10. Jump Back – Rufus Thomas
11. Grab This Thing (Part I) – The Mar-Keys
Isaac Hayes on writing Soul Man
12. Soul Man – Sam & Dave
13. Soul Girl – Jeanne & The Darlings
14. Born Under a Bad Sign – Albert King
15. Tearz – Wu Tang Clan
16. After Laughter (Comes Tears) – Wendy Rene
17. No Tears – The Tonettes
18. C.R.E.A.M. – Wu Tang Clan
19. As Long As I’ve Got You – The Charmels
20. Closer to My Baby – Dorothy Williams
21. What Can I Do – Bobby Marchan
22. My Type – K.nightshift (The Dime) with DJ Crimson and Conrad Anthony
23. My Services – Bink$ Win$ton
24. Can’t See You When I Want To – David Porter
25. A Place Nobody Can Find – Sam & Dave
26. Motown vs. Stax (Booker Loo) – Booker T & the MGs
27. Rollin’ / Groovin’ – Bink$ Win$ton / Booker T & the MGs
28. Be My Lady – Booker T & the MGs
29. Boot Leg – Booker T & the MGs
30. Soul Dressing – Booker T & the MGs
31. Frog Stomp – Floyd Newman
32. Green Onions 2012 – K.nightshift & Bink$ Win$ton
33. Burnt Biscuits – The Triumphs
(Midnight Hour – Reflection Eternal)
34. Bar B -Q – Wendy Rene
35. The Hawg, Part I – Eddie Kirk
36. Bush Bash – The Mar-Keys
37. Cold Feet – Albert King
38. Ain’t That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One) – Johnnie Taylor
39. Empty Yo Pockets – Bink$ Win$ton
40. Each Step I Take – Deanie Parker
Jake (Skit)
41. Bang for Your Buck / Can’t Ever Let You Go – Bink$ Win$ton / Rufus Thomas
42. Can’t Explain How It Happened – Ivory Joe Hunter
43. When My Love Comes Down – Ruby Johnson
44. I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) – Otis Redding
45. That’s How Strong My My Love Is – Otis Redding
46. Don’t Hit Me No More – Mable John
47. If I Ever Needed Love (I Sure Do Need It Now) – Ruby Johnson
48. I’ll Show You – William Bell
49. Winter Snow – Booker T & the MGs
50. Ghost Dads – K.nightshift (The Dime)