Inside the Studio - The Memphis Drum Sound
When normal people talk about Memphis, they usually talk about Elvis and BBQ. When musicians talk about Memphis, it’s Stax Records and R&B. The original Stax studios was demolished in 1989. There is a museum there today, and it is no longer a commercial recording facility. But what if I told you the studio that gave Stax the idea to build a studio in an old theater was still in existence and open for business? Welcome to Royal Studios.
Royal Studios was started in 1957 in an old silent movie theater. In 1959, Memphis celebrity and musician Willie Mitchell began to make records there, blending jazz and blues. Willie and his band influenced Packy Axton to found Stax as an R&B label instead of a rockabilly label. Today, Royal is owned and operated by Willie’s son, Boo.