Booker T. & the MGs
Booker T. & the MGs grew out of the Mar-Keys, when that band’s 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 also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Memphis chapter of the National Association of the Recording Arts and Science.
While Al Jackson was murdered at his home in Memphis in 1975 (the crime was never solved), the remaining members of the band went on to play with virtually every major recording artist in the country. Cropper, Jones, and Dunn still toured nationally and internationally to rave reviews until Dunn's death on May 13, 2012. Cropper and Jones work individually as recording artists, touring performers, producers, writers, engineers, and in other areas of music. Cropper lives in Nashville and Jones in the San Francisco area.