South Memphis

How STAX Got Its Name

This is a guest post brought to you by Emily Cupples. You are bound to learn a few facts about Stax Records that will make you look like a real smartypants at your next Memphis dinner party.

Ever really ask yourself where Stax got its name? Does it stand for the stacks of money with the label? Or does it refer to the records on records produced? Maybe its the type of boot worn by many of the artist? Oh wait, it could be the founder’s name? Right? WRONG!

Original Stax Sign

No worries, these are all assumptions I made when I was trying to figure out the derivation of Stax. But lucky you, Memphis Type History is gonna let you in on a few secrets and tell you where Stax really came from. Here are a few fun facts:

  • The original label name was “Satellite Records”
  • Stax is actually a combination of the first two letters of the last name of a brother and sister pair. Jim STewart and Estelle AXton
  • The Soulsville Foundation, which now coordinates the efforts of Stax and the surrounding community, was first named the Ewarton Foundation – a combination of the letters not used in stEWART and axTON’s names

So, there’s a lesson in Staxmantics (see what we did there). Make sure you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear other great facts and secrets. We also have a new email list you can sign up for right now that will give you access to major updates in the future when the Memphis Type book is published!

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By Caitlin L. Horton

Partner-in-crime for entrepreneurs and community builders getting their message out with thoughtful design and marketing.

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