World Cafe

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Join the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.
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Stax Records on World Cafe

Stax Records Recording Studio, Memphis, Tenn. Stax Records Recording Studio, Memphis, Tenn.
Courtesy of Andy Modla Photography
Memphis Tennessee – Soul music, barbeque and Elvis Presley. World Cafe is spending this week getting the vibe of Memphis, Tenn., a city that — like New Orleans — has had an undeniable influence on all of American culture.

Our Sense of Place: Memphis radio journey takes us to the five major studios where much of the music that came out of radios from the '50s to the '70s was made.

Sun, Stax, Ardent, Royal and American all pumped out hits with top-notch studio bands. Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Al Green, Big Star, The Box Tops — they all rose out of Memphis.

We start at Stax. Robert Gordon, author of It Came From Memphis, the authoritative musical history of the city, gives us an overview here. And the curator of The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Levon Williams, guides our journey. Check out the Stax Museum Video on World Cafe's Sense of Place Memphis site.

Session Setlist
Booker T and the MGs/ "I Got A Woman" / Green Onions
Ray Charles / "What I Say" / The Very Best of Ray Charles
Otis Redding / "These Arms of Mine" / The Very Best of Otis Redding
The Mar-Keys / "Last Night" / Do the Pop-Eye
Isaac Hayes / "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" / Hot Buttered Soul

Spotify Playlist Celebrating Stax Records
1. "Hold On, I'm Comin'" - Sam & Dave
2. "Green Onions" - Booker T and the MGs
3. "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" - Otis Redding
4. "I'll Take You There" - The Staple Singers
5. "Born Under a Bad Sign" - Albert King
6. "B-A-B-Y" - Carla Thomas
7. "Knock on Wood" - Eddie Floyd
8. "Last Night" - The Mar-Keys
9. "Theme from 'Shaft'" - Isaac Hayes
10. "In the Rain" - The Dramatics