Stax Records is synonymous with Southern soul music. Originally known as Satellite (2), the Memphis company was founded in 1959 by Jim Stewart and his sister, Estelle Axton, and took its new name in 1961 from the first two letters of their last names.

For all Unofficial/ bootleg/ counterfeit releases of this label please use Stax (2)

Among the many artists who scored hits on Stax and its Volt subsidiary during the Sixties were Rufus Thomas and his daughter Carla Thomas, Booker T & The MG's (an inter-racial instrumental quartet that also served as the label's rhythm section), Mable John, Sam & Dave, Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, Bar-Kays, The and Otis Redding. Redding's death in December 1967 signaled the end of the first Stax era (which Atlantic distributed and retains distribution rights).

Subsequently the company spawned a new crop of hitmakers, among them Isaac Hayes, the Staples Singers, the Soul Children, The Emotions, the Rance Allen Group, Shirley Brown, Luther Ingram and The Dramatics. The company was sold to Paramount Pictures Corporation in 1968 (only to be sold back to Jim Stewart and Al Bell in August 1970, with the help of a loan from Deutsche Grammophon/Polydor, who obtained international distribution rights). It then entered a distribution deal with Columbia Records, only to find out that it was given a raw deal with more Stax product ending up as cut-outs and intentionally given poor marketing and distribution support. Stax was in deep financial trouble with various creditors (particularly the Union Planters Bank in Memphis, from whom Stewart borrowed money to start the company and eventually mortgaged the converted movie theater that was the Stax headquarters) and collapsed, going bankrupt in 1975.

A year and a half later in June 1977, the company's masters and related assets were purchased at an auction by Fantasy, Inc., which periodically revived the Stax and Volt labels for new recordings and reissuing older post-1967 material in addition to releasing previously unreleased pre-March 1968 Stax/Volt recordings, to which it controls the rights.

In 2008, Concord Music Group revived Stax as an active label with new artist signings including Jill Scott, Leela James, Angie Stone, and Nikka Costa.

Labelcode: LC 00914

Dating Stax Records

Atlantic distribution:
1962-1968 (701-726) Mono labels are light blue and stereo labels are yellow. Both have the original stacked record logo.

March 1968-1975:
1968-1972 (2000-2045,3001) Yellow label with blue finger snap logo.
1972-1975 (2046-2047, 3002-3024, 5500 series) Yellow label with brown finger snap logo.

Fantasy releases:
1977-1980s (4100 & 8500 series) Purple and white label with black finger snap logo.

1987 June - September.
STAX 801 - 820 series of 20 Stax 7" re-issues. The vinyl pressings were actually manufactured in France with 4 prong centers but this was officially a UK release and the specially designed Stax company sleeves were British with the distributor's London address details on the back of the sleeve along with information of all the other 19 releases and expected release dates. Copyright dates of the original issues are retained on the labels. Most, if not all, have different B sides to the original issues.

Further pointers : Rondor Music credits - Rondor did not acquire the publishing rights to the East Memphis Music catalogue until sometime in 1981 so any credits for Rondor Music on labels or sleeves mean the release cannot date from earlier.

UK and European distribution was by EMI (in Germany and the UK), Ariola (in Austria), Movieplay (Spain) and Barclay (France) until it moved to Polydor from mid-1971 (some territories being late 1971, notably France (November 1) and Germany). Australia and New Zealand moved from Festival Records to Polydor at the same time.

Parent Label:Concord Music Group
Sublabels:Ardent Records (2), Chalice (3), Enterprise, HIP (5), Respect, Satellite (2), Stax 60, Stax Funk, Stax Funx, Stax Recording Studios, ...
Contact Info:

Stax Records
Tenth and Parker
Berkeley, CA 94710

Original label:
926 E. McLemore Avenue,
Memphis, Tennessee
(now the address of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, on the site of the original company headquarters which was demolished in 1989)
On the yellow label with brown fingersnap
Stax Records, Inc., 98 North Avalon, Memphis, USA , , Wikipedia , , , , Imdb


Edit Label
Data quality rating: Needs Vote
7784 submissions pending


ArtistTitle (Format)Catalog NumberYear