Pop icon, GRAMMY© Award winner, and Academy Award nominee Huey Lewis has teamed up with the London, UK/Austin, Texas-based Soundwaves Art Foundation to help raise funds for the nonprofit Stax Music Academy, an afterschool and summer music institute at the original site of Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee.
Soundwave’s Tim Wakefield has created an original artwork based on Huey Lewis and The News’ audio recording of his 1985 classic “The Power of Love.” The song was featured in the film Back to the Future that same year. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Soundwaves has produced a limited-edition collection of four original artworks and 50 prints that are individually numbered and signed by Wakefield and Lewis. Sales will benefit the Stax Music Academy, which was forced to close its physical facility in March and move to virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Former Stax Records owner Al Bell introduced the Soundwaves Art Foundation to Stax Music Academy earlier in the year.
The autographed prints and originals go on sale September 8, 2020. The originals are $2,500 each and prints are $450 each. Earlier in 2020, Elvis Costello teamed with Soundwaves for artwork inspired by his classic 1983 hit “Pump It Up,” and raised approximately $16,000 for the Stax Music Academy.
Lewis, a lifelong Stax Records fan, was first introduced to the Stax Music Academy in 2010 while in Memphis recording the band’s LP Soulsville, a collection of Stax Records interpretations they cut at nearby Ardent Studios. After visiting the academy and adjacent Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Lewis decided to host the United States Soulsville release event at Stax Music Academy, and participated in a panel discussion at the Stax Museum the same evening with former Stax Records owner Al Bell and famed Stax songwriter David Porter. He donated partial proceeds from the album sales to the Stax Music Academy and has supported it in other ways ever since.
“When I visited the Stax Museum dedicated to Stax Records and found out that they had a school there teaching that music today at the original site of the label’s studios,” Lewis said, “it was a bit of a spiritual experience. Those students were so talented and so hopeful that I knew I had to do something to support them. I’m happy for this opportunity to continue helping them out.”
Soundwaves, which was founded by Wakefield and his son Tom in 2007, has raised some $2.8 million for nonprofit organizations around the world, creating original artworks based on songs by the world’s top musical artists from Pearl Jam and Paul McCartney to Fleetwood Mac and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
For more information about Soundwaves and to purchase originals and prints, please visit https://soundwavesartfoundation.com/band/huey-lewis/