Sunday, April 18, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Booker T. & The MG's
Album:The Very Best Of Booker T. & The MG's
The 1962 top five hit Green Onions was one of the first Stax hits. But of course we all know that there's more to Booker T. & The MG's than one hit. They were the basis of the Stax sound and played on most of the records recorded at the Stax studio in Memphis. Organist Booker T. Jones (born Nov. 24, 1944 in Memphis) met guitarist Steve Cropper (born Oct. 21, 1941 in Dora, MS) while hanging around the Satellite Record shop owned by Stax Records owners Estelle Axton & Jim Stewart. Cropper was in The Mar-Keys and they had a hit with Last Night in 1961. Cropper was named A & R director of Stax and formed the house band with bassist Lewie Steinberg (born Sept. 13, 1933 in Memphis) and drummer Al Jackson Jr. (born Nov. 27, 1935 in Memphis). They named the group after record producer Chip Moman's car. The main role of Booker T. & The MG's was to produce and play on all of the records produced at Stax. Green Onions happened purely by accident. They were in the studio backing up Sun Records rockabilly star Billy Lee Riley and they started jamming during a break. Jim Stewart liked what he heard and hit the record button. Green Onions topped the R & B singles chart and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962. They had some other chart hits that you can get on this comp. But the band continued to back up just about anyone who came through the studio. Donald "Duck" Dunn (born Nov. 24, 1941 in Memphis) replaced Steinberg in 1965. Dunn had also been in The Mar-Keys. Booker T. & The MG's also toured with the Stax artists so the bottom line is they could do it all and did do it all. Steve Cropper left Stax in 1970 and became a very successful producer. Al Jackson was murdered on Feb. 1, 1975 after finding intruders in his home. The other guys have reunited occasionally and do their own projects as well. Here's Booker T. & The MG's performing Green Onions Oslo, Norway 1967.