Mark Moore 
Member since Nov 3, 2014


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Re: “Due Respect

While "Respect Yourself" is indeed an excellent book, the reviewer completely skipped over Rob Bowman's superb book about Stax, "Soulsville USA", published in 1997. It's actually a good bit better than "Respect Yourself" in many areas, delving deeper into the actual story of Stax, & is really essential reading. Gordon's book is essential reading as well, but it falters whenever the attention is taken away from the history of Stax, & focused more on the general racial history of Memphis at large in that era.

I understand why he went into all that history about Memphis, as it does help to place Stax's history in context, but it means that some of Stax's history is given short shrift as Robert strives to make yet another point/connection in regards to Memphis in context with Stax. This often blurs the focus of the book to a distracting degree.

Both books are excellent, but "Respect Yourself" too often loses sight of what the real story Robert needs to be telling actually is. The two books, (along with Bowman's liner notes for the three Stax/Volt Singles box sets), combine to give one the most complete history of Stax that there is.

Also, Peter Guralnick didn't set out to write the definite history of Stax with "Sweet Soul Music", but rather to write an overview of the entire Southern Soul genre, & in that respect he succeeded completely.

Posted by Mark Moore on 11/03/2014 at 1:29 PM
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