Special Guests

The Stax Music Academy is also proud to have the unyielding support of the former recording artists, musicians, singers, and writers who made Stax Records one of the most influential labels in the world, and guests to SMA from that roster have included Isaac Hayes, David Porter, Mavis Staples of the Staple Singers, Rufus and Carla Thomas, the Bar Kays, the Mar-Keys, the Mad Lads, the Astors, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, former Stax Records owner Al Bell, Stax Records founder Jim Stewart, and Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY-winners Wayne Jackson and Andre Love of the Memphis Horns and Steve Cropper, Booker T. Jones, and Donald “Duck” Dunn of Booker T. & the MGs.

The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is the world’s only soul music museum. It attracts a wide variety of special guests, most of whom also visit the adjacent Stax Music Academy.  The celebrities and dignitaries who have visited the Stax Music Academy include John Legend, Bootsy Collins, Elvis Costello, Huey Lewis (who had a CD release party at SMA and donated all proceeds to us), former First Lady Laura Bush and former First Daughter Jenna Bush Hager (who featured SMA on NBC’s Today show), former Tennessee Governor and First Lady Bill and Crissy Haslam, then-United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and numerous others.