410 – Cheryl Pawelski – Written in Their Soul: The Stax Songwriter Demos

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 05: Cheryl Pawelski attends the 65th GRAMMY Awards on February 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Written in Their Soul: The Stax Songwriter Demos is a treasure trove of lost soul & R&B recordings from the 60’s and early 70’s, many of which have never been heard before.  Cheryl Pawelski personally had to comb through literally hundreds of hours of recordings in search of these hidden gems.  It’s a project two decades in the making.  The result is a 7-disc set full of surprises – you get nascent versions of songs we know, like “Respect Yourself” and “(If Loving You is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right.”

But the real thrill is the set’s final three discs: 66 songs that were never released by anyone.  Pawelski was working for Concord Music when she began this endeavor.  That was 17 years ago.  She now runs Omnivore Recordings.

We discuss the detective work that went into the project. How she managed to wade through the massive amount of random recordings in search of these soul nuggets.  She also talks about attending the box set premiere in Memphis with many of the surviving artists on this collection.  Pawelski also gives us insight into upcoming releases from Omnivore.