Charles “Packy” Axton Album Release Party at Stax

In some ways, Charles “Packy” Axton was the forgotten man in the Stax Records saga. The son of one of the partners, Estelle Axton, he was a saxophone player in the original Stax band, the Mar-Keys, along with Don Nix and others. Exiled from Stax by his uncle, Jim Stewart (by some accounts due to drugs and/or alcohol), he recorded only a handful of sides before dying tragically in 1974, only in his thirties. But the really hip Light in the Attic Records label out of Seattle has assembled all the material they could find into one cool CD called “Late Late Party”, and the album release party at the Stax Museum was something of an all-star gala, despite the odd time of 4 PM on a Tuesday afternoon. Scott Bomar of the Bo-Keys was there, as well as Andrea Lisle, local Memphis music writer, Robert Gordon, the author of It Came From Memphis, legendary bluesman/photographer Don Nix, who had been Packy’s bandmate in the Mar-Keys, and L. H. White, who was the “L.H.” in L. H. and the Memphis Sounds, who cut four sides under Packy’s direction that would ultimately come out on the Nashville-based Hollywood label. Altogether, it was a good time with good music, and the only sad thing being that Charles “Packy” Axton never saw such acclaim during his lifetime. 

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