STAX via Motown

The introductory film at STAX is brilliant. Before they take you to STAX music, they play some Motown. A little Temptations, some other choreographed groups. You’re sitting there thinking, this is fun, bopping along to the tunes. If you’re uninitiated, you may even be thinking, okay, Black groups—I get that. Then Rufus Thomas says, “But once you crossed the Mason and Dixon line . . .”

What comes next has as much relation to Motown as tee-ball does to the Bigs. Tough, textured, all out full throttle Soulsville. The music has what Leroy Scott kept saying about the white folks who played at STAX: “They were real.” The STAX music is something else . . . not to mention the Door of Hope guests dancing at the Soul Train exhibit. The Soul Train line got nothing on them.

Here’s to Creative Synthesis . . .

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