Stax Music Academy’s European Tour: 50 years after a historic jaunt, students bring American Soul back overseas
Dave Hoekstra heads to 926 McLemore Avenue in Memphis, home of the Stax Museum and Stax Music Academy, an after-school and summer music academy dedicated to music education and soul appreciation. He talks with Soulsville USA executive Tim Sampson and Stax vocalist Carla Thomas about the Academy’s upcoming tour of France, England and Ireland to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Stax/Volt European Tour of 1967.
We also hear from a group of students from the Academy who talk about the school’s music curriculum, the social implications of representing African-American youth abroad and heading out on the tour to bring the music of Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and more back to life on stage.
Stax producer and co-owner Al Bell then talks about his experience landing in Europe on the original tour, how audiences abroad embraced soul music compared to white audiences in the States, his time with Dr. Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and more.