Booker T. and the MG's

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Booker T. and the MG's

The longtime Stax Records house band achieved fame not only due to their musical abilities, but as an integrated band (two blacks and two whites) working at a time of significant racial tension in the United States. Though their most significant contribution was as a backup band for Stax artists including Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, and Albert King, they also produced a number of their own Top 40 instrumentals, including "Green Onions," which reached number three in 1962. Through 1969, they produced five more Top 40 singles.

Though the group officially disbanded in 1971, they were working on a reunion album in 1975 when drummer Al Jackson, Jr. was killed tragically. Since then, the remaining members have continued to record both together and separately. Steve Cropper and Donald "Duck" Dunn, the group's guitarist and bass player respectively, also joined the Blues Brothers Band and appeared in both of their major motion pictures.

—Marc R. Sykes

Further Reading:

Bowman, Rob, and Robert M.J. Bowman. Soulsville, U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records. New York, Macmillan, 1997.