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Stax/Volt - Volume 8



Volume Eight

1. My Inspiration – Mad Lads (2:45)
Screen Gems-Columbia Music***
Volt 150
Released June 12, 1967

2. Love Sickness – Sir Mack Rice
(B. Rice)
East Music*
Stax 220
Released June 16, 1967

3. Sophisticated Sissy – Rufus Thomas
East Music*
Stax 221
Released June 5, 1967
Highest Chart Position: R&B #43

4. I’ll Always Have Faith In You – Carla Thomas (2:50)
Falart-Champion Music****
Stax 222
Released May 29, 1967
Highest Chart Position: R&B #11 / Pop #85

5. How Can You Mistreat The One You Love – Jeanie & the Darlings
East Music*
Volt 151
Released June 16, 1967
Highest Chart Position: Pop #96
Produced by Issac Hayes and David Porter

6. Love Is A Doggone Good Thing – Eddie Floyd (2:25)
(Eddie Floyd-Steve Cropper)
East Music*
Stax 223
Released June 30, 1967
Highest Chart Position: R&B #30 / Pop #97

7. Groovin’ – Booker T. & the MGs
(F. Cavaliere-E. Brigati)
Slacsar Music, EMI Music, BMI
Stax 224
Released June 12, 1967
Highest Chart Position: R&B #10 / Pop #21

8. Slim Jenkin’s Place – Booker T. & the MGs
(Dunn-Cropper-B. Jones-A. Jackson)
East Music*
Stax 224-B
Released June 12, 1967
Highest Chart Position: Pop #70

9. Glory Of Love – Otis Redding
(Billy Hill)
Shapiro & Bernstein Music, Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., ASCAP
Volt 152
Released June 30, 1967
Highest Chart Position: R&B #19 / Pop #60

10. I’m A Big Girl Now – Mable John (2:25)
East Music*
Stax 225
Released June 18, 1967
Produced by Issac Hayes and David Porter

11. Wait You Dog – Mable John (2:10)
East Music*
Stax 225-B
Released June 18, 1967
Produced by Steve Cropper

12. You Can’t Get Away From It – Johnnie Taylor (2:45)
(B. Jones-A. Jackson-D. Porter)
East Music*
Stax 226
Released July 18, 1967
Produced by Booker T. Jones and Al Jackson, Jr.

13. Eliose (Hang On In There) – William Bell (2:40)
(Booker T. Jones-William Bell)
East Music*
Stax 227
Released July 14, 1967
Produced by Booker T. Jones

14. Knock On Wood – Otis & Carla (2:48)
(Steve Cropper-Eddie Floyd)
East Music*
Stax 228
Released July 28, 1967
Highest Chart Position: R&B #8 / Pop #30
Produced by Steve Cropper

15. I’m Glad To Do It – C.L. Blast
(Homer Banks-Johnny Keyes)
East-Kesax Music*
Stax 229
Released July 28, 1967
Produced by Johnny Keyes

16. Double Up – C.L. Blast
Tarheel-Kesax-Roubraton Music, Fort Knox Music-Trio Music-Kesax Music-Roubraton Music, BMI
Stax 229-B
Released July 28, 1967
Produced by Johnny Keyes

17. You Can’t Run Away From Your Heart – Judy Clay
(Isaac Hayes-David Porter)
East Music*
Stax 230
Released August 3, 1967
Produced by Isaac Hayes and David Porter

18. I’ll Gladly Take You Back – Charmels
(Isaac Hayes-David Porter)
East Publications*
Volt 153
Released August 17, 1967

19. Soul Man – Sam & Dave
(Isaac Hayes-David Porter)
East-Pronto Music**
Stax 231
Released August 21, 1967
Highest Chart Position: R&B #1 / Pop #2
Produced by Isaac Hayes and David Porter

20. Daddy Didn’t Tell Me – Astors (2:31)
(Booker T. Jones-William Bell)
East Music*
Stax 232
Released September 7, 1967
Produced by Booker T. Jones

21. Give Everybody Some – Bar-Kays
(David Porter-Bar-Kays)
East Music*
Volt 154
Released September 21, 1967
Highest Chart Position: R&B #36 / Pop #91
Produced by David Porter and Isaac Hayes

22. On A Saturday Night – Eddie Floyd (2:35)
(Eddie Floyd-Steve Cropper)
East Music*
Stax 233
Released September 28, 1967
Highest Chart Position: R&B #22 / Pop #92
Produced by Steve Cropper

23. Don’t Hit Me No More – Mable John
(J.M. Williams)
Struggling Music, Struggling Music, BMI
Stax 234
Released September 28, 1967
Produced by Steve Cropper

24. Somebody’s Sleeping In My Bed – Johnnie Taylor
(Betty Crutcher-Allen Jones)
East Music*
Stax 235
Released November, 1967
Highest Chart Position: R&B #33 / Pop #95
Produced by Al Jackson, Jr.

25. Winter Snow – Booker T. & the MGs
(Isaac Hayes)
East Music*
Stax 236
Released December 4, 1967
Produced by Booker T. & the MGs
(Introducing Isaac Hayes on piano)

26. Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday – William Bell
(William Bell-Booker T. Jones)
East Music*
Stax 237
Released November 20, 1967
Highest Chart Position: R&B #23
Produced by Booker T. Jones

27. What’ll I Do For Satisfaction – Johnny Daye (2:55)
(Steve Cropper-Joe Shamwell)
East-Redwal Music*
Stax 238
Released November 29, 1967
Produced by Steve Cropper

28. Pick Up The Pieces – Carla Thomas (2:45)
(D. Davis-K. Barker-F. Briggs)
East-Groovesville Music*
Stax 239
Released December 1, 1967
Highest Chart Position: R&B #16 / Pop #68
Produced by Al Bell & Don Davis under the supervision of Isaac Hayes and David Porter


The Bar-Kays' second Volt release was co-written with David Porter. Ben Cauley remembers "Give Everybody Some" as a Sly and the Family Stone takeoff. Porter produced it and the song struggled to #36 R&B, #91 Pop.

A few months earlier The MG's continued their hot streak, going Top 10 R&B and Top 30 Pop with their cover of the Young Rascals' April 1967 hit "Groovin'." The flip side was a song written about a soul food cafe that was located adjacent to the studio called "Slim Jenkin's Place." Both sides featured piano as well as organ. Booker laughed, "I just went crazy. We could overdub. You could put more than one thing on. So I did it every chance I got." Al Jackson's use of cowbell for a ride pattern on "Slim Jenkin's Place" is somewhat unusual. Mention should also be made of the bass line, which reappears on former Mar-Key Don Nix's "Going Down,” issued a few years later on Elektra.

The MG's finished 1967 with a Christmas single issued as "Booker T. and The MG's featuring Isaac Hayes." This instrumental version of Hayes' "Winter Snow" was perhaps the best attempt at the moody minor-key song. Isaac plays the piano while Booker T. plays the organ.

The Mad Lads returned to their doo wop roots, attempting a cover of Carole King-Gerry Goffin's "My Inspiration" in June of 1967. The innocence of street corner singing returned but it did not provide a hit. The same month that "My Inspiration" was issued, Jeanne And The Darlings debuted on Volt. They had started many years earlier singing gospel as the Dolphus Singers in Little Rock, recording for the Avant label out of Texas in the early sixties. They were in their early thirties, with Jeanne and Dee Dolphus earning their living as schoolteachers, when they came to Stax.

They came to the company at the urging of Al Bell. He had gone to school with one of the sisters and knew the family in general from the gospel world. Once at Stax, Bell convinced them to sing secular material and coupled them with Hayes and Porter. The first effort, "How Can You Mistreat The One You Love," was written, according to Porter, in the Sam And Dave mold. It was a wondrously fun uptempo outing that made a little noise regionally but failed to click on the national charts.

Hayes and Porter also wrote and produced The Charmels' second forty-five, "I'll Gladly Take You Back," in the summer of '67. The vocal is way up in the stratosphere. "[That] was a tune that Isaac melodically was stretching out further than he would ordinarily," explained Porter, "and I followed him on that."

Neither "I'll Gladly Take You Back" nor The Astors' final release, the Booker T. - William Bell penned "Daddy Didn't Tell Me," took off. The Astors' Curtis Johnson felt that the only reason they got this final shot two years after their last Stax release was because of Estelle Axton's lobbying. The record was dynamite. In fact it might have been their finest effort, but it was to no avail. Their recording career had just ended.

Things may not have been working out for vocal groups at Stax but their male vocalists had never been stronger. Bell and Jones wrote two great songs issued by William Bell in the latter part of 1967. The rocking "Eloise (Hang On In There)" somehow missed out on being a smash but the exquisite "Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday," issued in November 1967, mounted the R&B charts in January 1968, climbing to #33. Bell remembers Isaac Hayes helping him get a harder sound on the former. "We were basically raw energy, raw emotion. Motown was more slick, more polish."

"Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday" featured a great opening guitar line written and played by Booker T. (Over the course of the Stax/Volt catalogue, Booker can be heard playing baritone sax, trombone, harmonica, guitar, tuba, bass, piano and organ.) Booker also sings high harmony on the record, accompanying Bell's own impassioned voice on the chorus.

Although the song never actually mentions Christmas, it has become an R&B seasonal staple with all the DJs that know what cooks. "It was not really designed to be a Christmas song," claims Bell. "We wrote the song in October. Rhythmically, rather than putting tambourines on it, we put bells, just shaking them for the rhythm. When the record came out they played it during the holiday season and they just adopted it as a holiday record." Along with Bell's immortal "A Tribute To A King,” it is the singer's finest moment on record.

Eddie Floyd had two more charting records in 1967. Both "Love Is A Doggone Good Thing" and "On A Saturday Night" were co-written with Steve Cropper. They reached numbers 30 and 22 on the R&B charts, while both only made it into the 90s on the Pop listings.

Floyd's compatriot, Sir Mack Rice, had his second Stax forty-five, "Love Sickness," issued in June of 1967. The writing credit reads Bonnie Rice, which apparently is the singer's name as it appears on his birth certificate. "Love Sickness" was an impressive stomper that unfortunately never really broke. Rice within a year-and-a-half had moved on to Atco Records where he charted briefly with "Coal Man" in 1969.

Rice continued to write for Stax right up to the label's demise in the mid-seventies. He co-wrote a couple of songs for Rufus Thomas in 1967 and 1968. The first, "Sophisticated Sissy," was written with Hayes, Porter and Joe Shamwell. With background vocals supplied by Jeanne And The Darlings, it gave Rufus his first chart entry since 1964's "Jump Back." The Sissy was a big dance at the time.

Rufus's daughter, Carla, had a couple of forty-fives released before the end of the year. Both "I'II Always Have Faith In You" and "Pick Up The Pieces" worked their way up the charts, the former going #11 R&B, #85 Pop, the latter settling at #16 and 68 respectively. Eddie Floyd and Al Bell wrote "I'll Always Have Faith In You" and Floyd provided the backing vocal. Carla turns in an arresting gospel-influenced ballad performance complete with a spoken interlude.

"Pick Up The Pieces" was one of the first of Detroit producer and writer Don Davis's efforts at Stax. Al Bell had brought him into the company. The song was co-written with Detroit compatriots Kent Barker and Fred Briggs. Davis then concocted an arrangement that was so Detroit it could have been issued as a Motown record and no one would have been the wiser. The song was later covered by Johnnie Taylor.

Carla also was heard on R&B and Pop radio with the second forty-five released from her album with Otis Redding, King And Queen. Their cover of Eddie Floyd's "Knock On Wood" churned its way to Top 10 R&B and Top 30 Pop. Redding also charted in the last year of his life with a cover of "Glory Of Love." The song goes all the way back to a Benny Goodman recording from 1936 (#1 for the King of Swing), while the Five Keys did the earliest R&B adaptation, scoring big in 1951 for Aladdin. Redding typically redefines the song, in the process giving himself a #19 R&B, #30 Pop success.

The same month that Redding released "Glory Of Love," he played the Monterey Pop Festival backed by Booker T. and The MG's and the Mar-Key horns. The Monterey Festival was the greatest public expression, up to that point, of the nascent hippie subculture. For Otis and the Stax session musicians it was quite a culture shock. As Wayne Jackson remembers it, it was also quite a triumph. "When Otis came on, it was over. OVER. End of story for everyone who had played up to that point. The crowd went absolutely bananas. Andrew [Love] and I were just shaking. They were mobbing the stage just wanting to touch Otis." The "Love Crowd," as it turned out, adored Otis. The Monterey performance, as a result, was to be a turning point in paving the way for Redding to cross over to white America.

"I'm A Big Girl Now" b/w "Wait You Dog" was Mable John's fourth Stax single. As was now standard, Hayes and Porter wrote the plaintive ballad on the top side. The B-side, though, was a bit of a twist as John dances her way through an Eddie Floyd-Steve Cropper uptempo and somewhat sassy workout. Stax released this forty-five with no A-side designated, hoping DJs would choose one side to play. Unfortunately, neither side emerged as a hit.

John's fifth Stax forty-five came out a scant two months later. "Don't Hit Me No More" was written by soul great Joe Tex while he and John were touring together. Tex demoed it on tape, accompanying himself on piano. He also conveyed instructions on the tape regarding the arrangement. Steve Cropper was now producing John as Hayes and Porter's last few efforts for her had not hit. Cropper was no more successful. Label copy readers will notice the writing credit reads Johnnie Mae Williams. Williams was Tex's wife. Although she didn't write the song, she was given credit due to the state of Tex's business affairs at the time.

Hayes and Porter may have had no success with Mable John, but when it came to Sam And Dave they could do no wrong. In the late summer of 1967 they cut the anthemic "Soul Man." It was the most successful Stax recording to date, topping the R&B charts and stopping one position short of doing the same on the Pop listings.

The song's title continued where "Soul Finger" had left off, in the process providing a handle for a whole genre of music. According to Porter, "I hadn't heard anyone talking 'soul' before that. It had not been applied to soul music. That was what made it such a massive black anthem." [It should be noted that Arthur Conley's "Sweet Soul Music," produced by Otis Redding, had been released some six months earlier.] "Soul Man" was an important record keying in to the then newly emergent black consciousness perhaps best summed up by the phrase "Black is beautiful." In 1967 it indeed became an anthem for black America.

Opening with Cropper's chiming guitar juxtaposed with Hayes' low-register piano and Al Jackson's atmospheric riding on the bell portion of his cymbal, the song is infused with red-hot syncopations. Bassist Duck Dunn claims that Isaac was responsible for a lot of the funkified rhythms on these records. "All those counterpoint things, those pieces that fit together, that was Isaac. You listen to that record 'Soul Man.’ The guitar part and the bass part are basically 'Bo Diddley.' He's got everything moving around. It works. It just knocked me out. When he did it that day I said, 'Isaac, son of a bitch, he knows what he's doing.'''

One of the most memorable portions of the recording occurs in the chorus when Sam And Dave exclaim "I'm a soul man" four times in a row. Following the second declamation, Steve Cropper plays a slide guitar part that has burned deep into the collective consciousness of a generation. The guitar line was Isaac Hayes' idea. "I said, 'Give me some Elmore James, man.'" Cropper, not having a proper slide with him, used a cigarette lighter to get the sliding effect. Sam Moore was so knocked out when he heard it that he spontaneously injected "Play it Steve" into the mix. The excitement was so palpable that it was all left in.

Porter co-wrote, with Booker T. and Al Jackson, Johnnie Taylor's fifth Stax single, "You Can't Get Away From It." Apparently he had the melody and Hayes wasn't around. That melody turned out to be one of his best, but the record didn't get the commercial acceptance hoped for. Produced by Jones and Jackson, it was the start of a run of Taylor releases produced in one combination or another by The MG's drummer. His next effort met with tentative success, as the Bettye Crutcher-Allen Jones song "Somebody's Sleeping In My Bed" returned Taylor to regular radio play. Another blues, Stax had yet to find the ingredients that would make Taylor one of the biggest R&B stars of the early seventies.

There were three mystery records cut in late 1967 for Stax. The mysterious but ubiquitous C.L. Blast cut a Homer Banks and Johnny Keyes tune entitled "I'm Glad To Do It" b/w a Banks-Keyes-Packy Axton composition, "Double Up." Keyes, doing his first work at Stax in a dog's age, produced the disc. He was also responsible for bringing Blast to the label. Curiously the same recording was issued on Stax and on the company's year-old pop subsidiary, Hip. Neither edition did very much.

Blast's real name appears to be Junior Lewis. He is the epitome of the journeyman soul singer, having a long career recording for Columbia and MGM as Lewis, before changing to the Blast pseudonym for releases on United, Atlantic and Stax. In the early eighties he was still going at it, recording for Cotillion and Park Place among other labels, and for a while he was doing some writing for Malaco Records. Despite such a wealth of activity, no one associated with Stax knows how he came to the company, why the record was issued on the two different labels, or what has become of him.

Judy Clay, sounding much like New Orleans's Irma Thomas, worked out on a Hayes-Porter composition, "You Can't Run Away From Your Heart," for Stax's next release. Clay's real name is Judy Guion. She had started her career singing as part of the Sweet Inspirations with Cissy Houston (Whitney's mom), Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick. Oddly, just after the Stax record was issued, Clay was on the charts singing a series of duets with blue-eyed soulster Billy Vera on the Atlantic label. She would return to Stax a year later after Atlantic and Stax severed their distribution agreement. She then charted twice for the Memphis label, singing wonderful duets with William Bell on "Private Number" and "My Baby Specializes" before returning yet again to Atlantic in 1970. Figure that one out.

The last oddity on volume eight is by Johnny Daye. "What'll I Do For Satisfaction" was the first of two records Daye would cut for the label (the second appeared after the Atlantic period and consequently is not included on this series). Steve Cropper produced the record and co-wrote it with Joe Shamwell. Daye was a white artist that Otis Redding had come across in Pittsburgh. Cropper claimed that "Otis really wanted to do a lot with him. The kid was dynamite. Had Otis lived he probably would have.”

Daye had recorded in 1965, at the age of seventeen, with Johnny Nash producing on the Jomada label, briefly charting with "Marry Me." His Stax recordings were not so successful.


*Irving Music, BMI Administered outside the US by Warner Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
**Pronto Music/Irving Music, BMI Administered by Warner Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
***Screen Gems-EMI Music, BMI
****Falart-Champion Music, BMI

For authenticity, producer and publisher credits are listed as they appeared on the original singles. Current Publishing information accompanies each individual volume. Prior to 1967, producer credits were not generally listed on single labels.
U.S. chart positions courtesy of Billboard


This compilation (P) & © 1001 Atlantic Recording Company for the United States and WEA International Inc., for the world outside of the United States.
Stax ® and Volt ® are registered trademarks of Fantasy, Inc.

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