If you’re a fan of soul music even a little (or love the sound of a Hammond organ), I shouldn’t have to explain the historical relevance of Booker T. Jones to you. But just in case you need a little prodding to go see him at the Satellite next Thursday June 16th (buy tickets), here are ten facts about him. I’m also giving away some tickets, so email me [dukeufo at gmail] with the name of your favorite Stax single. The contest closes Monday at 3:00 PM and winners will be notified Monday night.
1) Co-wrote, along with the MG’s, his most famous song, “Green Onions” while he was still in high school.
2) As part of the Stax house band (when he wasn’t away at college), Booker T. played on a ridiculous number of classic songs by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, William Bell and the rest of the Stax roster, serving an integral role in defining the southern soul sound.
3) Co-wrote, along with William Bell, “Born Under a Bad Sign,” which is a vital part of the blues-rock canon.
4) Co-wrote a ton of underrated soul jams, one of my favorite being, “I Forgot To Be Your Lover” (co-written with William Bell) which slays me every time I hear it (except, when Billy Idol did it).
5) Produced (as well as arranged and played on) Bill Withers’ classic debut album, Just As I Am.
6) Produced Willie Nelson’s pop standards, crossover album Stardust, which has sold over 10 million copies worldwide (and shows how an album of pop standards can be done right).
7) In 1993, he toured, along with the MG’s, as Neil Young’s backing band in the US and Europe. He also played on Young’s Are You Passionate? LP.
8) In 2007, Booker T. and the MG’s received a lifetime Grammy award
9) His 2009 solo album, Potato Hole, features Drive-By-Truckers as his backing band with Neil Young on guitar (and also won a Grammy for best pop instrumental album).
10) Has a new album on Silver Lake’s Anti Records called The Road From Memphis, which features The Roots, Sharon Jones, Lou Reed, Jim James and Matt Berninger.