In the vast netherworld of soul there are countless characters that reside on the fringe, their significant contributions to American music history long forgotten. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, tenor saxophone player and bandleader Charles “Packy” Axton is yet another of the uncelebrated, despite a deep pedigree and funky catalogue of notable grooves. Check!Part of the mighty Stax family through birth—Packy’s mother Estelle Axton and uncle Jim Stewart founded the southern R&B dynasty in the early 1960’s—Packy picked up the sax at a young age, and after linking with future Booker T. & the M.G.’s Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck” Dunn, formed the The Mar-Keys. Almost reaching the top of the R&B and pop charts in 1961 with the classic “Last Night,” friction caused by Packy’s party going ways caused a split. It wasn’t until 1965 that the wild child had another national instrumental hit on his hands, “Hole In The Wall” by the Packers, chronicled by Light In The Attic Records in the first ever compilation of Axton’s work: Late Late Party 1965-67.
Despite the loving support of his musically minded mother, Packy was ostracized from Stax proper through a rift with Stewart because of his casual approach and oft-eccentric ways. Packy preferred hanging out and playing music with local black musicians, something that in the racially tense south, was viewed negatively by some. Still, throughout the mid-1960’s, Packy recorded a series of hard, short, and down home R&B stompers at Royal and Ardent Recording studios by heavyweight producer John Fry (Big Star, Ry Cooder), accompanied by legendary Stax and Hi Records dynamos Steve Cropper, Booker T., & Teenie Hodges (Al Green, Ann Peebles, Syl Johnson). Late Late Party 1965-67 takes 17 of these powerful instrumental and vocal tracks for your listening pleasure. Supplemented by Memphis-writer Andria Lisle’s extensive liner notes, unpublished photos, and the attention to detail Light In The Attic is known for.
Though Packy died in 1974 after loosing his long battle with alcohol, his music is now preserved with the respect it deserves. Whether or not he was acknowledged at the time, he helped break down color barriers by example, celebrated life’s ups and downs with rapturous song, and left a soulful legacy for all to learn from. To quote Lisle: “This is music that makes you want to shove the coffee table out of the way and pogo until the cabinets rattle, the pets hide, and your downstairs neighbor threatens to call the cops.”
* First ever anthology of Charles "Packy" Axton
* Lovingly re-mastered on 180-gram wax and housed in a Stoughton old school “tip-on” jacket
* LP includes a download card for an unreleased track by The Martinis!
* Features Stax and Hi Records legends Steve Cropper, Booker T., and Teenie Hodges
* Features songs recorded at the legendary Royal and Ardent Recording studios by John Fry