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The Memphis sound intrigued me so much that Stax Records became the first stop on my publishing tour of the south. When I was general manager of Warner Brothers Music in 1970, my longtime friend and sometime collaborator, Steve Cropper, who co-wrote “In The Midnight Hour”, “Dock Of The Bay”, “Knock On Wood”, etc., took me around his town, winding up at the offices and studios of the legendary record and publishing organization, East-Memphis music

The company occupied an old movie theater in the ghetto, with a markee that simply said STAX.The reception area, was the place where refreshments were sold, and the recording studio was where the second run movies were once shown.

I was humbled to be in the same studio where Booker T. & The M.G.s, Otis Redding, The Mar-Keys, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, The Barkays, Eddie Floyd, Johnny Taylor and Isaac Hayes made all of those mega-hits!

I’ve always believed that every studio has its own flavor, due to the collective consciousness and spiritual vibrations from all those who have poured out their hearts and souls within its walls. This place was no exception. I walked around mesmerized with the sounds of the late Al Jackson, Jr.’s solid drumbeat from, “Hold On I’m Comin'” running through my head. I even had the urge to yell out, “Play it, Steve!”, but I restrained myself!

Before I had to leave for my next stop, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Steve invited me into the control room to hear some remixes he was doing on the late Otis Redding. It was a spectacular ending to a day I’ll never forget.

Since I became interested in music, I always believed that more than just music is captured in the recording process. Primitive tribes correctly believed that a photographic image of them takes a piece of their soul forever…I believe a recording essentially does the same thing. More than sound and musical content are recorded, retained and reproduced…so are the inaudible vibrations, thoughts, emotions and energy of the lead performer as well as every participant in the studio.

I accepted the psychic fact years ago, that each of us carries with us spirits of our family, friends and ancestors…who carry with them the spirits of their family, their friends and their ancestors. Some of these entities that surround the artists, musicians, and other contributors to the process, mingle with other entities they encounter there. Some like their new environment so much, they stick around and become part the studio’s collective creative consciousness.

As a songwriter/ singer/ producer and publisher, I’ve had the chance to visit recording facilities all over the world where historic sessions have taken place…including Allegro, Associated, Bell sound, Olmstead, Sound factory, Mirasound, A+ R and Atlantic studios in New York, The Sound Factory, A+M, Gold Star, American, M-G-M studios and Cherokee studios in Hollywood, Apple, Trident, Rak studios, EMI studios in Abbey Road, London, the legendary Motown studios, The Record Plant in New York and L.A., Stax, Hi and Sun studios in Memphis, RCA and Columbia recording studios in Nashville, London, New York, and San Francisco to name a few.

Although most studios are routinely cleaned, few, if any are spiritually cleansed. Like a well – used grill at a restaurant, there is a spirit buildup over time that gives each studios end product a distinct flavor.

I’ve been asking artists, musicians, producers and engineers, if they ever experienced any paranormal phenomena in the studios where they worked. If you have any first hand experience please let me know about it.

Thanks and regards, Artie

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

For another article about the paranormal click onto
https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/07/13/michael-piller-from-the-other-side/

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Jerry Wexler, Neshui Ertegun, Bobby Darin, and Ahmet Ertegun

AHMET ERTEGUN  7/3/23 – 12/14/06

When I started in the music business in 1960, Ahmet Ertegun was a already a mythical figure. In 1947, he and Herb Abramson, founded Atlantic Records and soon became a threat to all the Major labels. He built a roster of African-American artists including Joe Turner, Ruth Brown, the Clovers, Ray Charles, the Drifters, and the Coasters. As the company, grew he signed white pop artists, Bobby Darin, Vanilla Fudge, The Rascals, disco artists Archie Bell and the Drells, Chic, Sister Sledge as well as rock artists J. Geils band, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones.

Jerry Wexler, who as a Billboard magazine writer changed the name of the genre from “Race Records” to the more respectable Rhythm and Blues, became a partner with Ahmet and his brother Neshui. Together they turned their little record company into one of the major forces of the 20th Century! When they brought, the Muscle Shoals Sound and Stax distribution deal into the equation, Memphis Soul dominated the charts. During this period the combined the talents of Atlantic artist Wilson Pickett and Stax writer and producer Steve Cropper co-wrote and produced hits, “In The Midnight Hour” and”634-5789″. Steve also co-wrote some and produced most of the recordings of another Atlantic artist, Otis Redding, including,”(Sitting’ on the) Dock of the Bay”. Jerry Wexler and Tom Dowd produced classic records by Aretha Franklyn and Dusty Springfield at Stax studios in Memphis Muscle Shoals studios using their musicians and songs in each location.

I had a lot of respect for Ahmet because he not only was head of a successful record company, he was a songwriter, “Don’t Play That Song” by Ben E. King and a producer, “Mack the Knife” by my mentor, Bobby Darin. He also had the unique ability, not only to actually listen to what a person was saying…but to make you feel like you were the only person in the world, at that particular moment. I remember being introduced to him by Quincy Jones at a party for Duke Ellington. Although he was surrounded by people all night and we only talked for a few minutes, at the the end of the evening he shook my hand and said, “Nice meeting you, Artie”. Wow! I met my personal hero and was validated…all in the same night!

I saw him again when he sold Atlantic to WEA, the same company that owned Warner Brothers Music, whom I worked for. I had the pleasure of being in charge of getting cover records on Progressive Music titles, which Atlantic owned, and Ahmet was more than happy to turn me onto his favorites, which included, Ray Charles’, “I Got A Woman” and “Hallelujah, I Love Her So”, which he also happened to produce!

Quincy was overbooked to score films, and asked me to help him get someone to do the music for “Come Back, Charleston Blue”, which was the sequel to Sam Goldwyn, Juniors’ highly successful Blaxploitation film, “Cotton Comes To Harlem”. He got me the job and screen credit of musical consultant. The first composer to come to mind was Atlanic artist Donny Hathaway, who was riding high with his first album and single, “The Ghetto”. So Donny, in his Kongol Cap and me in my “Superfly” hat, “bop” into a screening of the film and had a commitment from both Sam, Jr. and Donny as soon as the lights came back on!

I also suggested to Sam that I go to Atlantic Records in New York and find two or three singles by other top artists on the label that were about to be released and include them in the film, as well as the soundtrack album. Sam loved the idea, but not as much as Ahmet and Jerry! Ahmet played me product they were about to release and took me to sessions in progress, including Aretha Franklyn, as she recorded,”Angel”. This was an obvious hit to me and one of my first choices! It made me feel good that Aretha remembered me as the co-writer of “Here’s Where I Came In” (Raleigh/ Wayne), which was recorded on her first session at Columbia! Then producer Joel Dorn, invited me to hear the new sides he was mixing with Chart Topper, Roberta Flack and newcomer Bette Midler. Now I had a few more contenders!

When the film was finished, score done and all the songs I found were inserted into the soundtrack. As the tapes were being mastered, Donny Hathaway, who was prone to severe mood swings, had a sudden change of heart and insisted that only his music be used on the soundtrack! I was disappointed, but encouraged at the same time, when Ahmet called me to tell me how much he appreciated what I tried to do…and how he was looking forward to working with me again.

Although It never happened, I’ll never forget the kindness and encouragement he gave me when I needed it most.

Until we meet again, R.I.P. Rock In Perpetuity!

Respectfully, Artie Wayne

From my forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song”
Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne
https://artiewayne.wordpress.com

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