Stax Records co-founder Jim Stewart dead at 92

(L-R) Otis Redding, Jim Stewart, Rufus Thomas, Booker T. Jones, Carla Thomas (seated); Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Jim Stewart, co-founder of the highly influential record label Stax Records, has died at age 92.

Stax, which Stewart first launched in 1957 alongside his sister Estelle Axton as Satellite Records, helped shape the “Memphis Sound” of the 1960s and ’70s while releasing records by iconic musicians including Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Carla Thomas, Sam & Dave and the Staple Singers, often backed by the Booker T. & the M.G.’s house band.

“Today we lost an important piece of American music history,” says Michele Smith, Vice President of Estate & Legacy Brand Management at Craft Recordings and Stax Records. “Mr. Stewart’s legacy will live on through the Stax Records label that he founded, and the artists, musicians, and fans worldwide that love Stax music.”

Following its decline in the mid-70s, Stax went into bankruptcy before becoming a reissue label in the early ’80s. It was eventually revived in the mid-2000s, and has released albums by artists including Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

Stewart was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

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