In 1980, John Landis made a nominally funny movie that changed my life forever. Up until that moment, I was a typical Police, Cars, Boston, Kansas fan. Then I saw the Blues Brothers. It’s not a great movie. But it reintroduced me to my musical roots, and exposed me to Stax records and its personalities for the very first time.
Well, not the very first time. My parents raised me on Sam and Dave, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett. That means, of course I was familiar with the work of such people as Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck” Dunn. But I didn’t know of THEM (and consequently, what horrible actors they were). Cropper and Dunn are featured prominently in the movie.
After seeing the Blues Brothers, a love affair was born, and I devoured all things Stax.
It’s funny, Lintilla prefers the sugary-sweetness of Motown. That’s OK, but to me, it lacks the deep-down gospel soul of Stax music. It doesn’t matter if the song was about love or sex or food or religion, it always made me want to shout “AMEN!”. And, I contend that Green Onions was the “coolest” song ever recorded. You could have a video of Bill Gates walking down the street, and if you put a soundtrack of “Green Onions” in the background, even he would appear to be cool.
Now, PBS is airing aspecial about the whole Stax records pheomenon, on Great Performances tomorrow night. If you care about great music, if you care about music history (or even the history of the great state of TN), do yourself a favor and watch this show.
Also, if you’ve seen The Commitments, you are familiar with the music of Stax records, and probably didn’t even know it.
Watch the show tomorrow night. Then, those of you who know me will understand why I sing the way I do.