If you've binge-watched too many movies and television series during this stay-at-home time, and have done every jigsaw puzzle in the house, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music might just have the solution for the social distancing doldrums. As of now, their massive digitized archive is online, free for perusing.
Courtesy Stax Museum of American Soul Music
Stax trade ad
Though I personally feel that visiting the Stax Museum is an essential service, I realize that I'm in the minority, and, like most businesses these days, it's not open to the public. But never fear, you can still crank up your Stax albums on the stereo and page through the many gems that the museum has diligently preserved.
Of particular interest is the "Gettin' It All Together" catalog, which features the 27 LPs released during Stax Records' "Soul Explosion," the massive sales summit at Memphis' Rivermont Hotel in May, 1969. This was important both as a promotional stunt and as a morale-enhancing victory lap. By 1968, the entire Stax Records catalog from previous years was claimed by Atlantic Records, and the Memphis label was forced to reinvent itself with all new material. This richly illustrated program features album cover art and other information about the fresh wave of records released in the year that ensued.
Now fans can relive that pivotal moment in soul music history and more, via this generous online project. It's just one of many ways to keep yourself occupied during these quiet days, and really, there's no better respite from that gnawing coronavirus anxiety than the solid soul music of Stax Records.