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Booker T. Jones

Booker T. Jones

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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though primarily associated with the instrumental soul group Booker T. & the M.G.'s, keyboardist and composer Booker T. Jones was part of hundreds of significant records, from classic rock to country. Jones was born in Memphis, the city where he created much of his early music; and many of his high-school classmates would later become Stax Records labelmates. Jones made his first recording as a session man for that Memphis label at age sixteen, playing sax instead of keyboards. Jones then formed the M.G.'s (named after the sports car, though they also said it stood for "Memphis Group") to play Stax sessions. Though their first hit single, 1962's "Green Onions," featured a slightly different lineup, the classic M.G.'s would be Jones (organ/piano), Steve Cropper (guitar), Donald "Duck" Dunn (bass) and Al Jackson Jr. (drums). Unique for their time, the M.G.'s were a half-black, half-white group with rock and soul influences. While their own hits ("Time is Tight," "Hang 'Em High") featured their trademark slinky grooves, they also became the Stax house band, playing on hits by Sam & Dave. Otis Redding, the Staple Singers and more. The classic M.G.'s lineup ended with the death of Jackson in 1975, but by...

Though primarily associated with the instrumental soul group Booker T. & the M.G.'s, keyboardist and composer Booker T. Jones was part of hundreds of significant records, from classic rock to country. Jones was born in Memphis, the city where he created much of his early music; and many of his high-school classmates would later become Stax Records labelmates. Jones made his first recording as a session man for that Memphis label at age sixteen, playing sax instead of keyboards. Jones then formed the M.G.'s (named after the sports car, though they also said it stood for "Memphis Group") to play Stax sessions. Though their first hit single, 1962's "Green Onions," featured a slightly different lineup, the classic M.G.'s would be Jones (organ/piano), Steve Cropper (guitar), Donald "Duck" Dunn (bass) and Al Jackson Jr. (drums). Unique for their time, the M.G.'s were a half-black, half-white group with rock and soul influences. While their own hits ("Time is Tight," "Hang 'Em High") featured their trademark slinky grooves, they also became the Stax house band, playing on hits by Sam & Dave. Otis Redding, the Staple Singers and more. The classic M.G.'s lineup ended with the death of Jackson in 1975, but by then Jones had begun recording separately, making two albums with his then-wife Priscilla Coolidge; he also played bass on one of Bob Dylan's most famous tracks, "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." As a producer Jones oversaw Bill Withers' soul landmark "Ain't No Sunshine," as well as Willie Nelson's successful crossover into the American songbook, Stardust. The '80s would begin a new wave of activity for Booker T. & the M.G.'s, who reunited (with the first in a string of replacement drummers) for Atlantic Records' 40th anniversary show in 1986.They were the house band for Bob Dylan's 30th anniversary salute at Madison Square Garden in 1992; the group then backed Neil Young on a tour, and remained the touring band when Young later rejoined Crosby, Stills & Nash. While still playing occasional shows with the M'G.'s, Jones relaunched his solo career with a more modern slant. 2009's Potato Hole was a rock-oriented set featuring Young and the Southern band Drive-By Truckers; 2013's Sound the Alarm, which returned him to the relaunched Stax label, featured modern R&B production with loops and samples.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Union, The (2011)
3.
 Songwriter (1984) Keyboardist (Gilda'S Band)
4.
 A Star Is Born (1976) Speedway
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Milestones close milestones

1962:
Formed the M.G.'s
:
Known for such albums as "Potato Hole" and "The Road From Memphis"
:
Popular songs include "Representing Memphis" and "Everything Is Everything".

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