VMP is proud to partner with Made in Memphis Entertainment (aka MIME, a full-service entertainment group dedicated to giving local artists global reach), for a unique vinyl-exclusive album from David Porter, the legendary Stax Records songwriter and producer responsible for massive hits like Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man” and “Hold On, I’m Coming.” Cementing his legacy as one of the top songwriter/producers in music history while carrying his distinct style into modern times, Porter’s Chapter 1, his first album under his own name in 50 years, brings never-recorded tracks from his Robosac Music vault to listeners for the first time, linking past and present via the physical format preferred both at the time the songs were written and today when they were recorded.
“David Porter is one of the most important songwriters of the last 60 years, and the idea that he had an archive of songs that he was just sitting on, waiting for the right time to record was immediately exciting and mind-blowing for us,” said VMP Music Director Andrew Winistorfer. “It’s an honor for us to bring these classic-sounding ‘lost’ songs to light via being the first place to hear and buy this record, in the way it’s intended: on vinyl.”
The 10 songs featured on Chapter 1 are the first in a series of upcoming album releases from Porter’s Robosac Music vault of over 200 demos and songwriting ideas, none of which have been released or given to another artist since Porter’s last solo release in 1973. Gathering up-and-coming singers from his MIME Records label and pairing them with an all-star band, many of whom previously performed on his Stax records as well as many Hi Records hits in the 1960s and 1970s, Porter completed the 10 tracks on Chapter 1 at MIME’s 4U Recording Studios in Memphis with a focus on bridging the gap between the city’s musical history and its promising future.
Best known for his tenure as the first staff songwriter and producer at Stax Records, Porter has earned induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for his work with Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Johnnie Taylor, The Emotions, The Soul Children, Carla Thomas and Sam & Dave, for whom he co-wrote a string of eight successive R&B Top 10 hits with Hayes. Porter’s work was then given new life with the advent of sampling, with Mariah Carey’s No. 1 smash “Dreamlover” and Will Smith’s Top 5 hit “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It,” as well as music by The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and Wu-Tang Clan, all built on samples of Porter’s songs. These sampling successes led Porter to prioritize vinyl for the release of Chapter 1, a format still favored by many hip-hop/R&B producers and DJs.
“Just as Isaac Hayes and I found our place in the industry, I knew future generations would find their place too. I just never imagined through a new method called sampling they’d find ways to show love and respect to what I did while also establishing their own individuality,” said Porter, who also serves as CEO of MIME. “That idea was additional motivation in doing this series of my never-released material, beginning with Chapter 1, with the same flavor that has given me a lifetime of joy.”