Gettin' it all together

In May 1969, Stax Records held a sales summit at the Rivermont Hotel in downtown Memphis to celebrate the "Soul Explosion," a one-time release of 27 LPs and 30 singles into the market. Just a year earlier, following the end of its relationship with Atlantic Records, Stax was a record company without a catalog; now, it had launched a gambit that could either save or sink the company. Stax artists performed, label heads Jim Stewart and Al Bell took part in multimedia slide shows to announce each release, while label staff sold this new era of Stax to record wholesalers and the media alike. All told, the label sold over $2,000,000 in product over the two weekends, not only launching a new catalog, but also a new era of Stax Records that, according to Al Bell, "positioned [Stax] in the record industry as a viable independent record company."

Provided by former Stax Records producer Natalie Rosenberg, this program from the sales meeting, themed "Getting It All Together," features album covers for and highlights from the 27 LPs released by Stax Records in May 1969. It also includes a never recorded or released 28th LP, May I Have Your Ticket Please? by Rufus Thomas.

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