Song of the Day: Booker T. & The M. G.’s, “Time Is Tight”

The band that backed most of the major (and no doubt minor) artists who recorded for Stax Records also turned out some fine instrumental music on their own. Booker T. Jones (organ and piano), Steve Cropper (guitar), Lewie Steinberg and Donald “Duck” Dunn (after 1965) (bass), and Al Jackson Jr. were the house band at Stax, where they backed Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Bill Withers, Sam and Dave, Rufus Thomas, and others. Unusual for the time, the band was racially mixed, despite the fact that most considered soul music to be “by Blacks, for Blacks.” The band scored their first hit with “Green Onions” in 1962; “Time Is Tight” was released in February 1969 and reached #6 on the Hot 100, #7 on the R&B chart, #4 in the UK, and #10 in Australia.

19 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Booker T. & The M. G.’s, “Time Is Tight”

      1. They all ended up being legends…The Blues Brothers helped their legacy also. CCR and other bands loved them.

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  1. Thanks John – they have given us some amazing songs – loved reading this and then being able to hear their music – take care – Hilary

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    1. That accounts for roughly 10% of the songs I know, maybe more, the ones that you know when you hear but don’t know the name and/or the artist.

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  2. I didn’t know the name of this song but recognized it as soon as it started. I had to go listen to Green Onions. Another classic.

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    1. It was unique for its time, and after that there weren’t too many times when they were off the charts. Certainly not off the charts for the artists they backed. I always liked their stuff, and wished I could find enough guys that liked it…

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  3. ‘Green Onions’ by Booker T & the MGs is without doubt one of my favourite instrumental tracks of all time – the original was released the year before I was born but for some reason I have such a strong memory if it being played over and over again by us in our sixth year common room that last summer term before we all left school for good, so I’d have been 17 at the time… Every time I hear it, even now, it brings me straight back to that particular time and place… Ah, the power of good music to stay with us forever! 🙂

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