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Late Late Party

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Charles "Packy" Axton

Late Late Party

12" LP

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Quick Overview

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. 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.


Charles "Packy" Axton was a little known character, a gritty saxophonist, producer, and songwriter, who died at the age of 33 from complications due to alcoholism. He has heretofore only been regarded as a footnote in the history of Memphis soul. Light in the Attic, however, in their infinite wisdom, saw worth in a catalog of singles he played on and/or produced the mid-'60s. They assembled this wonderful package as a tribute to Axton's legacy. Born in Memphis, Tennessee into the Stax Records family (his mother Estelle Axton and her brother Jim Stewart founded the label). His early associates were Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Wayne Jackson, Ronnie Stoots, and Don Nix -- the Royal Spades, later renamed by Estelle as the Mar-Keys, led by Cropper and, after he left, by Axton. Included here are 17 glorious tracks Axton played on including the million-selling hit, "Hole in the Wall," by the Packers. The band is actually the MG's and the Stax Revue in Los Angeles with Booker T. Jones playing piano and Leon Haywood on organ. It reached the number one spot on the R&B charts. Axton recorded with L.H. White as the L.H. & the Memphis Sounds on the soul singles "House Full of Rooms," "Out of Control," and "I'm a Fool (In Love)," that borrowed as much from Motown as they did from Stax. The real greasy slammers here were recorded by the Martinis, a band Axton played in that included members of the Hi Rhythm Section with guitarist Teenie Hodges, bassist Leroy Hodges, and Hubbie Turner on keys. The Martinis released two singles, "Hung Over" b/w "Late Late Party" on BAR and "Bullseye" b/w "Holiday Cheer" on USA. That said, there are also three unreleased Martinis cuts here all of them killer. Another significant Axton group was the Pac-Keys, who cut grooved-out instrumental singles "Stone Fox," "Greasy Pumpkin," "Hip Pocket," and "Dig In." Axton played on a single as part of a band that backed vocalist Stacy Lane on BAR; the song are an uptempo stomper called "No Ending" b/w the ballad "No Love Have I." Axton wasn't a great saxophonist. But his solos are easy to detect: pure meat and potatoes, played with heat and grit and an excellent sense of phrasing. This is an essential collection for any follower of classic soul and R&B, with excellent liner notes by Andria Lisle, and full discographical information.

Additional Information

Artist Charles "Packy" Axton
Track Listing 1 Holiday Cheer - 2:05 2 Bullseye - 1:52 3 Hung Over - 2:06 4 No Ending - 2:23 5 House Full of Rooms - 2:31 6 Stone Fox - 2:17 7 Hole in the Wall - 2:50 8 South American Robot [#] - 2:18 9 Dig In - 1:56 10 Out of Control - 2:59 11 Key Chain [#] - 2:46 12 Hip Pocket - 2:28 13 I'm a Fool (In Love) - 2:56 14 No Love Have I - 2:51 15 Greasy Pumpkin - 2:01 16 I'll Always Love You [#] - 1:59 17 Late Late Party - 2:09

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