Unknown Facts About STAX

Posted on December 16, 2010 by


Randle Catron, Executive Director of Beale Street Development Corp., in a conversation told me something that is really interesting. While working with Jim Steward of STAX Recording Co. he suggested to Jim that he call and interview Al Bell for a job. At that time Al was working as a DJ for WLOK a Memphis radio station. Then, he mentioned to me that while in Detroit, at Motown Recording Co, showing Smokey Robinson some music scores by Isaac Hayes and David Porter, Smokey asked, “Who gets the royalties for the scores?” He was surprised that Smokey asked that question because Jim Steward didn’t pay the black artistes royalties and the black artistes didn’t know their earnings included royalties. Steve Cropper and Jim (both white) diverted, as their earnings, all royalties that should have gone to their employees. When Randle returned, he organized a meeting to inform Isaac, David, and other black artistes about their royalties, he then, fell from STAX and Jim Steward’s grace, couldn’t get any of his materials played again, and finally he move on.

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