Booker T. Jones
R&B, soul, funk, rock
This multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger and songwriter is a true legend of soul, R&B and funk. His ice-cold organ sound on Booker T. & The MG’s Green Onions dribbles with ominously hold-back dangerous passion and remains an unsurpassed showcase of dynamics and maximum emotional impact with minimal gestures.
Booker T. Jones, born 1944, grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, as a musical prodigy playing oboe, saxophone, trombone and keyboards. He wrote Green Onions in school in 1962. It became an instant hit. Being a black & white band, MG’s was a rarity at the time. They became the original house band at the newborn Stax label, playing behind the likes of Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding and Albert King, all of whom also used compositions by Booker T. At the same time he studied classical composition and music theory at the Indiana University, playing Memphis during weekends.
Relocating to California, he produced Priscilla (ex-wife) and Rita Coolidge, Bill Withers and Willie Nelson, among others. His solo recording I Want You rose to the charts in 1981. Booker T. has played keyboards for several different types of singers from Ray Charles to Neil Young and Natalie Merchant. He was chosen into R&R Hall of Fame in 1992 and won a life time achievement Grammy in 2007.