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Homer Banks (1941-2003) was one of the Stax label’s top songwriters during the 1960s and 1970s, contributing to blockbusters by Johnnie Taylor, The Staple Singers, The Soul Children, Luther Ingram, Sam & Dave, and Isaac Hayes, to name a few, as well as non-Stax artists like Rod Stewart, Elvis Costello, Millie Jackson, etc. When Stax folded in the late ‘70s, Banks shifted to the West Coast, became a writer for A&M’s publishing company, and recorded a couple of albums with Carl Hampton for Warner Bros.
 

In the 1980s, Homer returned to Memphis and formed the Two's Company recording company with former Stax colleague, keyboardist Lester Snell, which released albums by J. Blackfoot and Ann Hines. In 1983 Homer Banks, Reginald Jenkins and Chuck Brooks formed Sound Town Records, Inc. and thenceforth churned out a series of great records, written and produced by Banks and Chuck Brooks.
 

Sound Town first signed J. Blackfoot (ex-member of the Soul Children). The production yielded a top twenty album entitled "City Slicker" which included the single "Taxi" - a top five hit on Billboard Magazine’s Hot 100 Chart. Banks and Brooks next produced Shirley Brown’s "Intimate Storm" album, which included four singles that made Billboard’s R&B Chart. Randy Brown (no relation to Shirley) joined Sound Town after some success on Casablanca. Shelbra Dean (nee Bennett) is another ex-Soul Children member, who reprises that group’s last and biggest Stax hit “I’ll Be the Other Woman”. The Memphis Queen, Carla Thomas, cut a couple of tracks for the label, one of which is included here.

 
 

 

 

THE WAY OF THE CITY (J. BLACKFOOT)

THIS LOVE (SHIRLEY BROWN)

BEDROOM EYES (RANDY BROWN)

TAXI (J. BLACKFOOT)

TOO MANY LOVERS (SHELBRA DEAN)

LOVE FEVER (SHIRLEY BROWN)

I’LL BE THE OTHER WOMAN (SHELBRA DEAN)

LEAVE THE BRIDGES STANDING (RANDY BROWN)

BLOSSOM (CARLA THOMAS)

SUNSHINE LADY (J. BLACKFOOT)

THIS USED TO BE YOUR HOUSE (SHIRLEY BROWN)

I’M GOING AWAY (J. BLACKFOOT)




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