Five For Friday: Booker T & The MG’s

I’m sure I’ve featured Booker T & The MG’s at least once before, and certainly have featured one or two of the songs in the past, but you just can’t get enough of them. They were the house band at Stax Records in Memphis, and when they found themselves with time to kill, they’d make records on their own. Booker T. Jones played piano, organ and guitar, and was the unofficial leader of the group; Steve Cropper played lead guitar, Al Jackson Jr. played drums until his death in 1975, after which several drummers, including Steve Jordan, backed the group. Lewie Steinberg was the group’s original bass player, but was replaced by Donald "Duck" Dunn in 1965. The band took a hiatus starting in 1977, during which time Cropper, Dunn, and Jordan played with The Blues Brothers.

  1. The Packers, "Hole In The Wall": Cropper and Dunn were members of The Packers along with Charles "Packy" Axton, son of Stax founder Estelle Axton that eventually morphed into The Mar-Keys, who had a hit with "Last Night." Axton left for Los Angeles in 1965. Later that year, disc jockey Magnificent Montague persuaded Axton to record a few songs with Cropper, Al Jackson, and Booker T. Jones, which was "Hole In The Wall." Montague released the record under the name The Packers, and it reached #5 on the R&B chart.

  2. "Hip Hug-Her": Released in February 1967 and reached #6 on the R&B chart.

  3. "Time Is Tight": 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. The first time I heard it, it became my favorite song.

  4. "Hang ‘Em High": Composed by Dominic Frontiere for the Clint Eastwood movie of the same name. The song benefitted from the small-group approach, and reached #9 on the Hot 100.

  5. "Groovin’": The Young Rascals’ #1 hit from earlier that year, the MG’s version reached #10 on the R&B chart later in the year.

And that’s Five For Friday for September 3, 2021.

15 thoughts on “Five For Friday: Booker T & The MG’s

  1. I agree with you about “Time Is Tight”. I first heard it on some small town Tennessee station I could pick up where I lived and thought it was such a totally cool song. Still sounds good to me.

    Lee

    Liked by 1 person

              1. I did work at a wood shop for years. We built chairs, tables, and salad bars for restaurants. I would love to make guitars like my family did.

                Liked by 1 person

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