DETROIT TO MEMPHIS & SOME DUCKS TOO
Detroit-based Motown Records and Memphis-based Stax Records share a common bond. It's called the Al Abrams connection.
Abrams fell madly in love with the rhythm and blues vibe that echoed from the Stax Record label. The music was gritty and embraced its gospel-based Blues soul. Abrams wanted the opportunity to see if he could successfully brand Stax to rival his legendary PR successes at Motown.
Al Abrams introduced himself to Stax in almost a similar scenario as he when he first met
Berry Gordy in 1959. Abrams pursued Stax's Al Bell at an airport to pitch some promotional ideas. Abrams worked his media magic and secured the position as Stax Records' press and media consultant.
Abrams purposely created the Stax slogan to reflect its deep southern roots and city.
"The Memphis Sound" identified Stax. It was a simplistic but genius marketing move. It was a word play on “The Detroit Sound” and "The Motown Sound" slogans Abrams had attached to Motown as its resourceful in-house press agent.
Abrams, while at Motown, was also responsible for creating the iconic crossover slogan for the Motown Record label, officially anointing Motown - Motown: The Sound of Young America. This fact is indisputable.
Both the Motown and Stax record labels achieved unparalleled success in the coveted music industry during a time in American history where skin color created conflict, the dance floor was divided and the Civil Rights Movement was marching for equality.