Charles “Packy” Axton – Late Late Party 1965-67

January 01, 1970

(Light in the Attic)


One of the great lost tales
from the back pages of American soul music is the story about Charles
“Packy” Axton. The bouncing baby boy of Stax Records co-founder
Estelle Axton, the Memphis-born sax man staked his claim in the family business
as a primary member of the legendary Mar-Keys alongside such label luminaries
as Isaac Hayes, Booker T. Jones and his future MGs Steve Cropper, Donald
“Duck” Dunn and Al Jackson, Jr., and Wayne Jackson of the Memphis
Horns, achieving national acclaim with their no. 3 hit from 1961 “Last


Sadly, future stardom was
ultimately dashed for Packy due to rampant alcoholism and conflicts over
behavioral conduct and artistic direction with his uncle Jim Stewart, who
launched Stax with the musician’s mother and made the decision to blackball his
nephew from working at the label. Yet in spite of being ousted from his
bloodline’s legacy, Axton remained steadfast in his goals to write and record
his rowdy brand of Southern R&B on his own terms, logging time at such
established Memphis studios as Royal and Ardent to lay down a series of funky
sessions with industry pals like Booker, Cropper and celebrated Hi Records
guitarist Teenie Hodges. Those recordings, both of the vocal and instrumental
variety and dispersed across such notable indie imprints of the day as Bar
Records, Hollywood, Pure Soul Music and U.S.A. Records, comprise the makeup of Late
Late Party
. Spanning the years 1965 through 1967, this 17-track anthology
serves as the definitive guide into the wild heart of Packy’s party-ready
groove theory implemented by his post-Mar-Keys groups The Martinis, The
Pac-Keys and The Packers, delivered with a defiance that made Axton both the
bane and the bastion of the Memphis soul circuit.


Augmented with a trove of rare
archival photos and keenly crafted liner notes by Memphis music journalist Andria Lisle, Late
Late Party 1965-67
is an essential look at a dark corner of the Stax
universe that has gone overlooked for far too long.


DOWNLOAD: The Martinis’ “Bullseye”, “Key
Chain”, The Pac-Keys’ “Stone Fox”, “Greasy Pumpkin”,
The Packers’ “Hole In The Wall” RON HART

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