Stax Volt on Tour 1967

In the mid sixties some of America’s most talented Soul singers banded together and set out on a European tour that would go down as one of the greatest of all time. The artists on tour were all on the Stax-Volt record label and included Booker T. & the MG’s, The Mar-Keys, Arthur Conley, Sam and Dave, Eddie Floyd and The King of Soul Otis Redding.

The Stax-Volt label was sort of a Memphis equivalent to Detroit’s powerhouse Motown, although Stax was much smaller. After the tour in Europe in 1966 and 1967 the group returned to the states and many of the acts continued on to huge stardom, Otis Redding being the biggest. Sadly, he died in a plane crash in December of 1967 at the young age of 26.

Do yourself a favor and watch all of these videos, they are truly spectacular. The performances are also available on DVD here, should you want to own them. Enjoy.

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Comments on “Stax Volt on Tour 1967

    jbjones on March 6, 2011 10:04 AM:

    after a long childhood fascination with duck dunn, i was lucky enough to see booker t & the mgs back in ’95 at dobbins air force base, georgia. it was a blistering afternoon – the sun permanently baked the image of my flip flops into my feet – and they tore it up. one of the better shows i’ve ever seen.

    Andrew on March 6, 2011 10:07 AM:

    Fantastic- The guitarist in the MG’s (I think Steve Cropper) was awesome. Very heavy and badass for 1967. All, so great.

    Laurent Lagadec on March 6, 2011 4:17 PM:

    Thank you for the music….

    Tommy on March 6, 2011 5:58 PM:


    Ray Hull on March 6, 2011 7:57 PM:

    It’s worth noting some of the comments on YouTube. This was MUSIC.

    But the two most underappreciated participants of this tour were the musicians…who played ALL NIGHT, and the grip or sound guy who managed to tape TWO microphones together and have them STAY together through all of that gyrating; and of course, the proof of their collective success is in the recorded work…for both.

    What athleticism on the performers’ part too: leaping in a single bound back on stage, breaking into that James Brown tarantella-like frenzy from the ankles down (ever wonder where MJ got his moves?). These guys didn’t practice the synchronization of the Motown guys, but they were very good; and of course, the music was specatacular…ALL accomplished in coat and tie. Phew, those were the days. Thanks for posting these.

    Kerry on March 6, 2011 10:59 PM:

    Thanks for posting the music….now that’s what I call MADE IN USA!

    Michael Williams on March 6, 2011 11:06 PM:

    Well said Kerry.

    Jevan on March 7, 2011 12:07 AM:

    damn those are some tasty nuggets, thanks for sharing.

    steven on March 7, 2011 9:54 AM:

    Matching suits and ties, unison horn dips, and singers with serious swivel- that was damn straight soul; those Norse hipsters were getting schooled! Growing up during that era in a certain Midwestern industrial city with a huge black population, these sounds along with Motown, wafted on the breezes daily along with the sulphorous smog of our still burning steel mills. Check out the Stax scene five years later at “The Black Woodstock” that was Wattstax:
    As always, thanks to Mr. Williams for keeping keepin’ on.

    Chad on March 7, 2011 10:08 AM:

    The video is worth owning. “Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story” and “Tom Dowd and the Language of Music” supplement beautifully. The best thing about this video is the tension of the crowd as it builds throughout the night, finally hitting its apex with Otis – standing up and rushing the stage, pushing the policemen out of the way and playing give-n-take with Redding’s energy. Amazing stuff…

    Ye Ole General on March 7, 2011 1:29 PM:

    Great post Michael. I had the privilege of seeing all these acts in person, except Otis Redding. He died during my first semester, at The University of Alabama. The music scene, for the first two years at Tuscaloosa, was dominated by Stax Volt acts. The last concert, of my sophmore year, featured Eddie Floyd, and Sam & Dave. There was a short intermission, then came The Vanilla Fudge.That was quite a contrast! After that, it was a new era. The acts that followed included, The Who, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers,Three Dog Night, Iron Butterfly, Grand Funk Railroad, and The Band. A great era of Soul was over for the general public, but the music lives on.

    21scenturyBard on March 7, 2011 3:56 PM:

    Listening to Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration 2-disk set at work- makes the time go by. Thanks for the video.

    simonc on March 8, 2011 3:20 PM:

    Outstanding, outstanding post, what a band, what a band!

    Noah on March 9, 2011 4:37 PM:

    The music of Stax is played daily in my shop. Nobody did it like Otis. Nobody.

    John on March 11, 2011 11:37 AM:

    Unbelievable. Thanks for putting this in one place. Just incredible music.

    weekender on March 13, 2011 5:09 AM:

    one of the best dvds i own. brilliant !

    DD on April 4, 2011 1:16 PM:

    Legend has it that Sam & Dave marched over 100 miles each and every set…

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