With his band the MGs, Booker T. Jones created the classic instrumental "Green Onions." But they were also the studio band for Stax Records, making music with soul artists such as Otis Redding, Ray Charles and Wilson Pickett. His new album, with the Drive-By Truckers as his backup band, is called Potato Hole.
Memphis soul label Stax records is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year; a series of tribute concerts are being held, and PBS airs the documentary Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story next week. We feature interviews with musicians who were a big part of the Stax sound.
First up: Guitarist, songwriter and producer Steve Cropper, best known for playing with Booker T & the MGs. He co-wrote "Soul Man" and "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay." This interview first aired on Sept. 18, 1990.
He's best known for his playing with Booker T & the MGs. He co-wrote such hits as "In the Midnight Hour," "Soul Man" and Otis Redding's "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay." This interview first aired September 18, 1990.
His 1969 hit, "Only the Strong Survive," is a rhythm and blues classic. His 2000 autobiography is called: Only the Strong Survive: Memoirs of a Soul Survivor. Butler founded the vocal group The Impressions and also had a successful solo career. He's now serving his fourth term on the Cook County Board of Commissioners in Chicago.
Hayes rose to the top of the charts in the 1970s on the Stax label. He released his first solo album, Presenting Isaac Hayes, in 1968. His next album, Hot Buttered Soul, became a gold record in the [1970s]. His 1972 soundtrack to the movie Shaft, went platinum and won an Oscar for "Theme from Shaft." Hayes is also an actor, who has held roles in the movies Robin Hood: Men in Tights, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka and Posse. This interview first aired July 28, 1994.
Rock historian Ed Ward continues his series on cities and their contribution to music. Today's city is Memphis. Artists discussed include Chuck Berry, Sam Phillips, B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, Elvis Presley, The Marquees, Sam & Dave, Al Green
In the 60's, Cropper was with Stax Records, the record company that defined the Memphis sound of the time. He's best known for his playing with Booker T & the MGs; he also played in the band from the film "The Blues Brothers." He co-wrote such hits as "In the Midnight Hour," "Soul Man," and Otis Redding's "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay." (Rebroadcast)
Cropper is a white musician who fell in love with black music. As a guitar player, he preferred working in the studio rather than on the road, and later became part of the house rhythm section for Stax Records. He's best known for his playing with Booker T & the MGs and Otis Redding.