Charles “Packy” Axton was a saxophone player on the soul scene that developed in and around Memphis, Tennessee, in the 1950s and ’60s. His mom, Estelle, was a co-founder of Stax Records (the label took part of its name from part of hers). His high-school band included Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn (who went on to join Booker T. in the MG’s), and Wayne Jackson (who later formed the Memphis Horns). And if Axton, who died at the age of 32, didn’t have the hits his contemporaries had, he did leave a few amazing records behind.
Take “Hung Over,” which one of Axton’s bands recorded in Memphis in 1966. John Fry, who went on to run Ardent Records, engineered the track; Teenie Hodges and Lee Baker, who later played with Al Green and Alex Chilton, were the featured guitarists. The song is greasy, celebratory, and a little bit sad: a party record that seems to include its own after-party, and all the ensuing aftershocks. Discover it in context on Late Late Party 1965–1967—a new release on Seattle’s Light in the Attic label, and the first anthology dedicated to Axton’s work.
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