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The Golden Anniversary of anything is a big deal. But to the Late Baby Boom Generation, any Golden anniversary of important musical events is that much more important for the nostalgic appeal they possess. We have already seen a couple of Golden Anniversaries mentioned: The Beatles' formation in 1960, the release of the first Beach Boys recording, Surfin' Safari (Capitol, 1962), the appearance of the Rolling Stones that same year. Booker T. and the M.G.s (for Memphis Group) released the Memphis soundtrack of American life in 1962 with the Mid-South, funky Green Onions.
Green Onions was the debut album for the quartet that was to go on to become the house band for Stax Records, appearing on such essential recordings as Otis Redding's "Dock of the Bay," Eddie Floyd's "Knock on Wood" (both co-written by guitarist Steve Cropper), Carla Thomas' "Tramp," Wilson Pickett's "In the Midnight Hour" and Sam and Dave's "Soul Man," among many, many others. The band's music and accompaniment were organic and essential; necessary and feral. Booker T. and the M.G.s defined Memphis Soul Music.
The definitive soul-blues "Green Onions" resulted from a throw-off jam while the band awaited Arkansan and Sun Records stalwart Billy Lee Riley. Booker T. affected a nervous minor-key blues romp that got torn by Cropper's saw-blade Telecaster. While the band would never reproduce the success of this release, they did remain a vital part of the American musical landscape. The remainder of this disc sounds quaintly antique by today's standards, but this music is not about today; it is about back in the day. This is the soundtrack of the Midsouth heard on the radio KAAY the Mighty 1090, 50,000 Watts of Power! Happy Anniversary, Green Onions.
Track Listing: Green Onions See; Rinky-Dink; I Got a Woman; Mo' Onions; Twist And
Shout; Behave Yourself; Stranger On the Shore; Lonely Avenue; One Who
Really Loves You; Can't Sit Down;A Lover, A Friend; Comin' Home Baby;
Green Onions(live); Can't Sit Down (live).
Personnel: Booker T. Jones: organ; Steve Cropper guitar; Lewis Steinberg: bass (1-
12); Donald Duck Dunn: bass (13, 14); Al Jackson, Jr.: drums.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.