BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. – Thirty rare images from the Allied Photographic Illustrators archives of Memphis’ own Stax Records are now on exhibit in “Portraits of Soul” through March 5 at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center.
"Portraits in Soul" features legendary performers Isaac Hayes, Sam and Dave, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Steve Cropper, Rufus Thomas and more dating from 1962-1969. All were photographed and developed by William Carrier, Sr., founder of a small, family-run photography shop located in downtown Memphis. The images have been preserved and organized by Carrier's son, Bill, and retouched by his granddaughter, Morgan Bailey Carrier, making this a three-generational project.
Stax founder, Jim Stewart and William Carrier shared an interest in music and similar ideas about how the Stax artists should be portrayed for publicity purposes. Many of the photos were originally seen in black and white, but Carrier and his team encouraged bright colors and used vibrant backgrounds to enhance their photos.
When in the studio, the Allied Photographic Illustrators team sought to capture the "soul" of a Stax recording session - including the intensity, collaboration and professionalism. This played a critical role in Stax's promotional strategies. It communicated a contemporary style and class without losing the label's defining edge and grit.
Most of Allied Photographic Illustrators' photos were shot in the 120 format on Kodak film using Speed Graphic cameras. This format produced 2-1/4" x 2-1/4" negatives, resulting in the square portraits seen in the exhibition.
"Portraits in Soul" is on display 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays in the lobby of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center.
For more information, contact the West Tennessee Delta Heritage at 731-779-9000 or email@example.com.
About the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center
The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, in Brownsville, is a music heritage destination that offers a refreshing Southern experience showcasing the history and culture of rural West Tennessee. Inside visitors can learn about the history of cotton, explore the scenic and “wild” Hatchie River and get to know the legendary musicians who call West Tennessee home. Also located on the grounds is the Tina Turner Museum at Flagg Grove School, the childhood school of Tina Turner, and the last home of Blues pioneer Sleepy John Estes. The Delta Heritage Center is also a featured stop along the Americana Music Triangle connecting Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans. To learn more about the Center, visit www.westtnheritage.com or call 731-779-9000.
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