Directions: As you watch RESPECT YOURSELF: THE STAX RECORDS STORY, answer each of the questions below. Provide details to support your answers and be prepared to discuss this guide and the program in class.
1. In the program, Estelle Axton, one of the original co-owners of the record label, says that at Stax "we didn't look at color; we looked at people and their talent." Why was this particularly important and unusual in 1960s Memphis?
2. What role did each of the following people play at Stax Records and why were they important to the birth and growth of the label?
3. Al Bell recalled being told, "Niggers can't do nothing but sing and dance." Explain how he was motivated by this comment.
4. Stax had to compete with Motown Records in Detroit. Motown was known as Hitsville USA while Stax was known as Soulsville USA. What made the two companies so different?
5. The Lorraine Hotel was important to Stax Records and its artists, and it is also historically significant. Discuss how it was used by Stax, and why it holds a place in the history of the civil rights movement.
6. What is the song "Soul Man" about?
7. How did the Stax artists' European tour and participation in the Monterey Pop Festival affect and change them and the record company? Give specific examples.
8. How did the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. change things at Stax Records?
9. The goal of the Soul Explosion was to rebuild the record company's song catalogue and launch a flood of new albums. How did this business strategy change Stax Records?
10. Stax Records and its artists increased their support of black events and the black economy, culminating in the Wattstax benefit festival in Los Angeles in 1972. Why did the company think it was important for entertainers to take on this type of role?
11. Although Stax eventually went out of business, what legacy did the company and its artists leave behind, and why is it important to American culture?