Booker T. & the MGs grew out of the Mar-Keys, when original members Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck” Dunn teamed up with local musicians Booker T. Jones and Al Jackson, Jr. They became the house band for Stax Records, the architects of southern soul music, and recorded several successful instrumental albums of their own. Individually and as a group, they were involved in almost every aspect of Stax, from working in the Satellite Record Shop to writing and performing on some of the most memorable songs in American history.
Standout live performances included the 1967 Stax/Volt European tour and the Monterey Pop Festival that same year, when they performed with Otis Redding. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, the group has been hailed by critics for decades – and still today – as the “greatest house band in history.” In 2005, Cropper was inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 2007 Booker T. & the MGs received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys. On September 7, 2007, the group received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Memphis chapter of the National Association of the Recording Arts and Science.
Al Jackson was murdered at his home in Memphis in 1975 (the crime was never solved), but the remaining members of the band went on to play with virtually every major recording artist in the country. Cropper, Jones, and Dunn still tour nationally and internationally to rave reviews and work individually as producers, writers, engineers, and in other areas of music. Cropper lives in Nashville, Dunn in Florida, and Jones in the San Francisco area.
Bio courtesy of Stax Museum of American Soul Music
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