Booker T and the MGs- 4 Albums

Posted: March 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

If there is a band that can claim its involvement in 4 decades of musical history, it would be Booker T and the MGs. Coming together in Memphis originally as Sun Records star Billy Lee Riley’s back up band, Booker T Jones and co (Steve Cropper on guitar, Lewie Steinberg on bass , and Al Jackson Jr on drums) so heavily impressed Stax Records president Jim Stewart that he released their first single, Green Onions b/w Behave Yourself, on his label in 1962.  The single went to number 1 on the R&B charts and number 3 on the Pop charts and a full length album of the same name, Green Onions, was released later that year.

Though they would continue to issue their own instrumental singles and LP’s, the band was best known for their work as Stax Record’s “house band” throughout the 60’s. The instrumentation of the group could be heard on some of the releases of such artists as Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, The Staple Singers, Eddie Floyd, and many more.

Coming to the end of the 60’s, the band began fostering a mutual appreciation with The Beatles. John Lennon went on to state his wish of someday writing an instrumental for Booker and the MG’s. While that exact scenario did not take place, Booker and the MG’s recorded McLemore Avenue in 1970, including 13 covers of songs from Abbey Road.

Throughout the 70’s the band went through periods of inactivity, fragmenting ( some albums sans Booker T), and reunions. Two members of the band, Steve Cropper and Donald Dunn, were involved in the 1980 hit film , The Blues Brothers, as members of the band backing up Dan Akroyd and John Belushi.

Fast forward to 1992, the band ( at this time including Booker, Cropper, and Dunn) accepted an invitation from Neil Young to play as his back up band on his world tour. The same year they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Three years later, they performed as the house band for the Hall of Fame’s museum opening in Cleveland.

Booker T’s most recent batch of songs was a collaboration with the Drive By Truckers in 2009 entitled Potato Hole.

Here are 3 albums from Booker and the MG’s, Green Onions (1962), Doin Our Thing (1968), and The Booker T Set (1969) as well as 2009’s Booker/Drive By Trucker’s Potato Hole.

But first, check out this killer live performance of Green Onions.

Green Onions (1962)

Doin Our Thing (1968)

The Booker T Set (1969)

Potato Hole (2009)

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