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Respect Yourself


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"A joyous and heartbreaking story that says a lot about America." --Richard Hell, Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Robert Gordon has been writing about Memphis music and history for thirty years and is the author of It Came from Memphis, Can't Be Satisfied, The King on the Road, and The Elvis Treasures. He won a Grammy in 2011 for his liner notes to the Big Star box set Keep an Eye on the Sky. His film work includes producing and directing the documentary Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story for PBS's Great Performances. Gordon lives in Memphis.


A marvelous history ... Mr. Gordon captures the glory years of Stax in a series of exciting chapters that reflect his fine ear for prose as well as for the music the studio made. Wall Street Journal The voices of the members of the Stax family, and Gordon's deep knowledge of Memphis, give the book a significance that extends beyond a single recording studio. New York Times Book Review To read Respect Yourself is to step back into a time and place ... Chicago Tribune The triumphant and tragic story of Memphis' Stax Records ... receives definitive telling in Respect Yourself ... Gordon imbues it all with a wealth of fresh insight and perspective. Austin Chronicle A masterful storyteller, music historian Gordon artfully chronicles the rise and fall of one of America's greatest music studios, situating the story of Stax within the cultural history of the 1960s in the South. -- starred review Publishers Weekly [Respect Yourself is] wonderful cultural history of not only a record company but also the city of Memphis itself. -- starred review Booklist Spellbinding ... Deep cultural and social history enlivened by a cast of colorful characters. -- starred review Kirkus Reviews Respect Yourself is the definitive document of one of America's most important record labels, an engrossing tale of creativity, resilience, and struggle in the face of unprecedented adversity. Los Angeles Review of Books [Gordon] chronicles the exciting rise and ugly fall of his hometown music giant with a historian's rigor, a journalist's persistence, a filmmaker's scope and a musician's swing. Shelf Awareness Respect Yourself is the rare music book with an exciting subject matter, in this case it's the multiple rises and falls of Stax Records, that's also really well written. Author Robert Gordon's lyrical prose and exquisite word choices, are difference maker, elevating the book beyond just a good story, simply told. Midnight to Six

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