Jim Stewart

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Steve Cropper & Sam Moore
  • Category:
    Ahmet Ertegun Award
Inductee Jim Stewart


The creator of the ultimate R&B label—Stax.

Jim Stewart built Stax Records with the explosively talented ensemble of Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Isaac Hayes and more.

Hall of Fame Essay


Steve Greenberk

Born in 1930 in Middleton, Tennessee, Jim Stewart got his start in the music business as a part-time country fiddle player. Recognizing his limitations as a musician, Stewart went on to start the label that would be at the forefront of the soul-music revolution.

After founding Satellite Records in the late 1950s, Stewart- a longtime resident of Memphis - convinced his sister Estelle Axton to take out a second mortgage on her home to finance a label inspired by Sam Phillips’s success at Sun Records. From 1960 to 1975, Stax (after Stewart and AXton) scaled the heights of success with classic recordings by Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Booker T. and the MG’s, Rufus Thomas, Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, the Dramatics, Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Taylor, Carla Thomas, Albert King and dozens more.

As producer, engineer, businessman and mentor, Jim Stewart was at the center of it all.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 2002
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2002 Inductee Jim Stewart
Some of those songs his ear was responsible for have already stood the test of time
Steve Cropper