World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Estelle Axton

Article Id: WHEBN0000492067
Reproduction Date:

Title: Estelle Axton  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Stax Records, The Mar-Keys, Memphis soul, Carla Thomas, List of people from Memphis, Tennessee
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Estelle Axton

Estelle Axton (September 11, 1918 – February 25, 2004) was the American co-founder, with her brother Jim Stewart, of Stax Records.

Born in Middleton, Tennessee, Estelle Stewart grew up on a farm. She moved to Memphis as a school teacher, married Everett Axton, and was working in a bank when, in 1958, her brother Jim Stewart asked for help to develop Satellite Records, which he had set up to issue recordings of local country and rockabilly artists. She convinced her husband that they should remortgage their house and, in 1959, joined Satellite as an equal partner. The following year, Axton and Stewart turned the Capitol Theatre, in a black Memphis neighbourhood, into a recording studio and record shop, and began making hit records with predominantly black artists.

Satellite was forced to change its name after it was discovered that a Los Angeles label already owned the title, and it changed its name to Stax, taking its name from Axton and Stewart's surnames. Axton was actively involved with selecting and developing the artists on the label, who included Rufus Thomas, Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs, and Isaac Hayes.

She sold her interest in the company in 1970. After the non-compete agreement expired, Axton formed Fretone Records whose biggest hit, "Disco Duck" by Rick Dees was licensed for distribution to RSO Records.

In December, 2006, The Recording Academy announced that Estelle Axton would be honored with a Trustee's Award as part of the upcoming Grammys.[1]

Estelle was the founder of the Memphis Songwriters Association in 1973. The Memphis Songwriters Association was formed in order to foster the education and advancement of local area songwriters. There was a focus on the development of the songwriting craft with the intentions of producing commercially viable songs and improving performance skills.

MSA has consecutively maintained membership for over 35 years. Estelle's formation of the Memphis Songwriters Association led to the motivation of many local songwriters and singer/songwriters publishing their original material. Some of these songs and artists met with some surprising success. Unfortunately, historical records are fragmented and scarce, however, there is a number of MSA alumni that could still tell the stories.

Estelle went on, with friend and founder of Moon Records, Cordell Jackson to work with the Music Industries of Memphis, later named the Memphis Music Association to assist in the development of local Memphis music as a global force once again. Their collaboration and guidance helped launch the first Memphis Demo Derby, the brainchild of PR Director Brett Hamilton, which was designed to present and showcase any and all Memphis musical talent to A&R reps, studio heads, producers and the like. The event was such a huge success, it continued for several years. Joe Savarin, founder of the Handy Awards, and Wanda Freeman of Tenant Laboratories lent a hand in spite of public opposition. The MMA was the umbrella organization for all Memphis music and still exists today. As of 2015, The Memphis Songwriters Association is still actively holding meetings and events.

In 2012, Axton was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, along with her brother and Stax co-founder Jim Stewart.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Booker T. & the MGs, Estelle Axton to be honored at 2007 Grammys". Retrieved 2007-06-06. 

External links

  • Memphis Songwriters Association website
  • http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p323946/biography
  • http://www.history-of-rock.com/stax_records.htm
  • Obituary
  • 49th Grammy Awards
  • Estelle Axton at Find-A-Grave
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.