Personalities | Booker T. & The M.G.s | Sixties | Rock

(Instrumental group, 1962–71, 1973–77, 1994–present)

Stax Records’ house band, Booker T. And The M.G.s also toured and recorded instrumentals in their own right. More than any other group they defined the sound of 1960s soul with their sparse, funky arrangements on hits for other Stax and Atlantic stars like Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, and Otis Redding. Booker T. Jones, Stax’s sax and organ prodigy, formed The M.G.s (Memphis Group) with Steve Cropper (guitar), Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn (bass, replacing Lewis Steinberg) and Al Jackson Jr. (drums).

Their first release, 1963’s ‘Green Onions’, was a US No. 3, eventually charting at No. 7 in the UK on its re-release in 1979. Their 1968 hit ‘Soul Limbo’ is the BBC’s TV cricket theme. Victims of their own success, they split in 1971 because of the demand for their individual services as ace sessioneers. There have been periodic high-profile reformations: in 1992 they backed Bob Dylan at Madison Square Gardens, and in 1993 toured with Neil Young.

Styles & Forms | Sixties | Rock
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Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley


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