4th-annual special to be broadcast from the Stax Museum in Memphis

The sounds of Memphis soul will fill the Hartford airwaves on Saturday, April 27, as Greasy Tracks host Chris Cowles presents “Soulsville 2013” — a six-hour program spotlighting Stax Records. The show runs from noon-6 p.m.

The fourth-annual edition of the special will be broadcast live from Memphis, Tenn., at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music which will be marking its 10th anniversary.

Keeping with the theme of previous features, listeners will be treated to a history of the label which defined southern soul music with insight from those who played a part of the “Stax Sound.”

“We’re really honored to be invited to the museum to do this program,” says Cowles. “There will be many Stax alums there that weekend, so it’ll be a unique and tremendous opportunity to have them on the air with us in the city where it all happened. I have no doubt there will be some real surprises when it comes to interviews.”

Tom Shaker, who presents Soul Serenade on public radio’s WICN-FM in Worcester, Mass., will co-host the program featuring music from the humble beginnings of Stax in 1957, through its demise in 1976 as a recording entity. Cowles and Shaker have a combined 60-plus years of broadcast experience.

Coinciding with his induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, influential guitarist Albert King, who recorded eight albums for Stax, will be featured prominently as will the recent release, Lonely and Blue: The Deepest Soul of Otis Redding. Artists from various subsidiary Stax labels will also be highlighted.

Past editions of “Soulsville” have included nearly 40 on-air guests, including a veritable who’s who of southern soul greats: Eddie Floyd, Steve Cropper, William Bell, Wayne Jackson, Al Bell, David Porter, Skip Pitts, Sir Mack Rice, Marvell Thomas, Jody Stephens, Mable John, Kirk Waylum, Don Nix and Larry Dodson, while an average of 70-80 Stax tracks were played each time.

There will be CD giveaways throughout the program courtesy of Concord Music Group.

“Sadly, the way radio programming has evolved over the years, there’s less and less Stax music getting airplay,” says Cowles. “Stax artists and writers made incredible contributions to America’s rich musical legacy — their material and the story of the label is too important not to share.”

Perhaps not a household word like Motown, Stax proved over its often-turbulent history that it could more than keep pace with Detroit’s “Hitsville U.S.A.” as the label churned out innumerable classic hit singles and introduced the world to some of the most captivating soul and blues artists ever to grace the stage or the airwaves.

Focusing on soul, blues, jazz and funk, Greasy Tracks debuted in 1995 and is the longest-running program of its kind in Connecticut, regularly airing on Saturdays, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Click here to hear the promo

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