Hello, Booker T. & The MG’s are an instrumental group that was formed by sessionmen from Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee. Members included, Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn and Al Jackson. Willie Hall replaced Jackson. Cropper and Dunn had been members of the Mar-Keys and later joined the Blues Brothers. The MG stands for “Memphis Group”.
The groups first hit record actually started out as the “B” side of their single, with BEHAVE YOURSELF as the “A” side or as the term went, the top side…on Volt Records. The record was reissued when the “B” side, GREEN ONIONS began getting heavy airplay. The single was re-issued on Stax Records and made its Billboard Hot 100 debut on August 11, 1962. GREEN ONIONS became one of the biggest instrumental hits of the 1960s as it climbed all the way to #3 on the Hot 100, remaining on the chart for 16 weeks. On August 25, 1962, two weeks after its Hot 100 debut…GREEN ONIONS made its Billboard R&B debut. The single went to #1 and held the top spot for 4 weeks (not four consecutive weeks), remaining on the R&B chart for a total of 15 weeks. Booker T. & The MG’s were awarded a “Gold Record” when sales of GREEN ONIONS went over 1 million copies sold.
The group would continue to chart hit single records and record albums for Stax records. BOOT-LEG became a #10 R&B hit in 1965, HIP HUG-HER a #6 R&B hit in 1967 and a #37 Hot 100 hit in 1967. In July of 1968 the group charted SOUL LIMBO a record that would be a #7 R&B hit and a #17 Hot 100 hit. SOUL LIMBO would also be the groups second million-selling single record. In November of 1968 HANG ‘EM HIGH became Booker T. & The MG’s second Billboard Hot 100, Top 10 hit, charting at #9. In 1969 the groups third million seller reached the charts. TIME IS TIGHT became a #7 R&B hit and a #6 Hot 100 hit.
The great Memphis group charted 17 Billboard Hot 100 singles between 1962 and 1971 and 16 Billboard R&B hit singles between 1962 and 1981. GREEN ONIONS is ranked #181 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs. In 1999 GREEN ONIONS was given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award. The song has been used many times in radio, television, movies and advertising. Booker T. & The MG’S were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and were given a Grammy Award for “Lifetime Achievement” in 2007. Their classic hit recording of GREEN ONIONS remains a favorite on oldies radio…it is one of the most popular instrumental hits of the “Golden Era Of Rock And Roll”.
Till the next time—Joe