STAX Doc Review

Date: May 20, 2024

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The Guardian
Jim Farber
May 20, 2024

During its breakout phase in the mid-1960s, Stax Records seemed to be soaring. The small company from Memphis managed to score huge, international hits with the new stars it introduced, like Booker T & the MGs (Green Onions), Otis Redding (I’ve Been Loving You Too Long), and Sam & Dave (Hold On, I’m Coming). Just one year later, however, the label teetered on the edge of collapse. “Stax had to come back from the dead,” said Jamila Wignot, who has directed a new, four-hour documentary on the legendary company titled Stax: Soulsville USA. “In that way, it became more than a record label. It became a beacon of hope.”