It was a time to rejoice Friday as The Stax Museum rolled out the red carpet for dignitaries and even the Peabody Ducks in celebration of the start of the facility's 10th anniversary year.
You should never forget where you come from.
To the credit of those former employees, artists and musicians who toiled to make Stax Records a giant in the music industry, the collapse of the company didn't stop them from caring because they did they shaped a foundation for a "homecoming" 10 years ago.
It was one of those proud occasions that calls for beating your own drum. With Stax Music recording legends, guitarist James Alexander of the Bar-Kays and prolific songwriter David Porter among those in attendance, the year-long celebration commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the opening of the Stax Museum came off as smooth as a Kirk Whalum sax solo.
Using the studio in which the magical music of Stax was born, a roster of governmental well-wishers, including U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen and county and city mayors Mark Luttrell and A C Wharton praised the determination of those who were instrumental in the resurrection of a Memphis landmark that had been completely obliterated after the record company's demise in the 1970s.
Though it was a building that was destroyed, there was a spirit that remained very much alive.
"The main thing that meant through my mind was, even though there's nothing there, the music stands all over the world and it's a shame that it's not properly recognized in the city," said Porter, Stax songwriting legend. "The mere fact that you know in our heart of hearts that people do care. That the manifestation of that is always the evidence of it. So, just the mere fact that people just showed that love and really wanted it to be was really more than words can say. Then have lived this long to be able to see this."
Friday's event kicks off a year that'll see a currently in the works musical tribute being arranged by famed Stax guitarist Steve Cropper in memory of his friend and Booker T & The MG's bandmate the late bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn.
A lineup that can only hope to match the top quality people who managed to maintain the "family feeling" that now guides the fortunes of the new era at Stax and the charter school that bears its name.
"To miss Deanie Parker and others, they've been able to assemble a great lineup of pople like Kirk Whalum, the continued support of David Porter," said Alexander, Bar-Kays guitarist. "Of course, the Bar-Bays who grew up just a couple of blocks away from here."
"There are some other Isaac Hayes and Al Greens and Aretha Franklins that are in the community," Porter added. "But, this serves as a motivation to say it can happen for you was well. This just sets the platform for that message to get out. So, it's great."
The tribute to the late Donald "Duck" Dunn is slated for March.