Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville Working on Second Broadway-Bound Stax Records Musical and Film
As BroadwayWorld reported earlier this summer, Grammy-winning producer Stuart Benjamin, along with Concord Music Group, is in the process of developing a new musical based on the Stax Records music label, with book by Matthew Benjamin and sights on a 2016 Broadway bow. Now according to the Hollywood Reporter, Evergreen Media Group (which is currently suing Concord for publishing rights to the music) is working with Robert Gordon to adapt his book 'Respect Yourself' into both a film and musical on the same subject. Morgan Neville has signed on to produce the project.
Evergreen CEO Tony DeRosa-Grund to THR: "Our plan is to first release the film then very shortly thereafter, open the Broadway musical version. By employing this model, the musical can take significant advantage of the millions of dollars spent on the promotion of the film."
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Founded in 1957 as Satellite Records, the label changed its name to Stax Records in 1961. It was a major factor in the creation of the Southern soul and Memphis soul music styles, also releasing gospel, funk, jazz, and blues recordings. While Stax is renowned for its output of African-American music, the label was founded by two white businesspeople, Jim Stewart and his sister Estelle Axton (STewart/AXton = Stax). It featured several popular ethnically-integrated bands, including the label's house band, Booker T. & the M.G.'s, and an integrated black and white team of staff and artists unheard of in that time of racial strife and tension in Memphis and the South.