It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.

Please ensure you are using the latest Flash Player.


If you are unable or do not wish to upgrade your Flash Player,
please try a different browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora One subscription will expire shortly.
More Info
No Thanks
Your Pandora One trial will expire shortly.
Restore
Close
close
Your Pandora One trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
Upgrade Now
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora One.
More Info
No Thanks
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
 Upgrade  sign up   |   help   |  
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

Free personalized radio that
plays the music you love

Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Booker T. & the MG's

As the house band at Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, Booker T. & the MG's may have been the single greatest factor in the lasting value of that label's soul music, not to mention Southern soul as a whole. Their tight, impeccable grooves could be heard on classic hits by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Albert King, and Sam & Dave, and for that reason alone, they would deserve their subsequent induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But in addition to their formidable skills as a house band, on their own they were one of the top instrumental outfits of the rock era, cutting classics like "Green Onions," "Time Is Tight," and "Hang 'em High."

The anchors of the Booker T. sound were Steve Cropper, whose slicing, economic riffs influenced many other guitar players, and Booker T. Jones himself, who provided much of the groove with his floating organ lines. In 1960, Jones started working as a session man for Stax, where he met Cropper. Cropper had been in the Mar-Keys, famous for the 1961 instrumental hit "Last Night," which laid out the prototype for much of the MG's (and indeed Memphis soul's) sound with its organ-sax-guitar combo. With the addition of drummer Al Jackson and bassist Lewis Steinberg, they became Booker T. & the MG's. Within a couple years, Steinberg was replaced permanently by Donald "Duck" Dunn, who, like Cropper, had also played with the Mar-Keys.

The band's first and biggest hit, "Green Onions" (a number three single in 1962), came about by accident. Jamming in the studio while fruitlessly waiting for Billy Lee Riley to show up for a session, they came up with a classic minor-key, bluesy soul instrumental, distinguished by its nervous organ bounce and ferocious bursts of guitar. For the next five years, they'd have trouble recapturing its commercial success, though the standard of their records remained fairly high, and Stax's dependence upon them as the house band ensured a decent living.

In the late '60s, the MG's really hit their stride with "Hip Hug-Her," "Groovin'," "Soul-Limbo," "Hang 'em High," and "Time Is Tight," all of which were Top 40 charters between 1967 and 1969. Since the presence of black and white musicians made them a biracial band, the MG's set a somewhat under-appreciated example of both how integrated, self-contained bands could succeed, and how both black and white musicians could play funky soul music. As is the case with most instrumental rock bands, their singles contained their best material, and the band's music is now best appreciated via anthologies. But their albums were far from inconsequential, and occasionally veered into ambitious territory (they did an entire instrumental version of the Beatles' Abbey Road, which they titled McLemore Avenue in honor of the location of Stax's studios).

Though they'd become established stars by the end of the decade, the group began finding it difficult to work together, not so much because of personnel problems, but because of logistical difficulties. Cropper was often playing sessions in Los Angeles, and Jones was often absent from Memphis while he finished his music studies at Indiana University. The band decided to break up in 1971, but were working on a reunion album in 1975 when Al Jackson was tragically shot and killed in his Memphis home by a burglar. The remaining members were active as recording artists and session musicians in the following years, with Cropper and Dunn joining the Blues Brothers for a stint in the late '70s.

The MG's got back into the spotlight in early 1992, when they were the house band for an extravagant Bob Dylan tribute at Madison Square Garden. More significantly, in 1993 they served as the backup band for a Neil Young tour, one which brought both them (and Young) high critical marks. The following year, they released a comeback album, arranged in much the style of their vintage '60s sides, which proved that their instrumental skills were still intact. Like most such efforts, though, it ultimately failed to re-create the spark and spontaneity it so obviously wanted to achieve. Jones continued with his own musical output through the following decades, often lending his instrumental skills to other artists and occasionally issuing his own albums, such as the 2009 solo effort Potato Hole. Bassist Dunn, intermittently active with festival and tour appearances after the turn of the millennium, had been touring with Cropper and Eddie Floyd in Japan during May 2012 when he died in his sleep in a Tokyo hotel. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Soul Party

1. Green Onions

2. Red Beans And Rice

3. Tic-Tac-Toe

4. Gimme Some Lovin'

5. Booker Loo

6. Outrage

7. Hip Hug-Her

8. Mo' Onions

9. Groovin'

10. One Mint Julep

11. My Sweet Potato

12. Chinese Checkers

x

Track List: Soul Men

1. Baby, Scratch My Back

2. Harlem Shuffle

3. Hi-Heel Sneakers

4. Downtown

5. I Was Made To Love Her

6. Georgia On My Mind

7. Wade In The Water

8. Fannie Mae

9. Day Tripper

10. You Left The Water Running

11. Every Beat Of My Heart

12. Ain't That Peculiar

13. You Can't Do That

14. Wand Dang Doodle

15. On A Saturday Night

16. The Letter

17. Oo Wee Baby, I Love You

18. Spoonfull

19. I Hear A Symphony

20. You're So Fine

21. Raunchy

22. You Are My Sunshine

23. Soul Man

24. Gimme Some Lovin'

25. When Something Is Wrong With My Baby

x

Track List: Time Is Tight

Disc 1

1. Green Onions

2. Behave Yourself

3. Jellybread

4. Home Grown

5. Burnt Biscuits

7. Mo' Onions

8. Tic-Tac-Toe

9. Fannie Mae

10. Soul Dressing

11. Can't Be Still

12. Boot-Leg

13. Outrage

14. Be My Lady

15. My Sweet Potato

16. Hip Hug-Her

17. Summertime

18. Slim Jenkins' Place

19. Groovin'

20. Soul Sanction

21. Pigmy

22. Booker's Notion

23. I Can Dig It

24. Expressway (To Your Heart)

25. You Don't Love Me

26. Never My Love

27. Blue On Green

28. Ode To Billy Joe

Disc 2

1. Soul-Limbo

2. Heads Or Tails

3. Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy

4. Hang 'Em High

5. Willow Weep For Me

6. Over Easy

7. Time Is Tight

8. Johnny, I Love You

9. Lady Madonna

10. Mrs. Robinson

11. Soul Clap '69

12. I've Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)

13. You're All I Need To Get By

14. It's Your Thing

15. Something

16. Sunday Sermon

19. Chicken Pox

20. Melting Pot

Disc 3

1. Gotta Serve Somebody

4. Terrible Thing

9. Born Under A Bad Sign

11. Meditation

12. Green Onions

13. Sarasota Sunset

15. Hang 'Em High

16. Time Is Tight

x

Track List: Definitive Soul

Disc 1

1. Green Onions

2. Behave Yourself

3. Jellybread

4. Home Grown

5. Chinese Checkers

6. Mo' Onions

7. Tic-Tac-Toe

8. Soul Dressing

10. Terrible Thing

11. Boot-Leg

12. Outrage

13. Be My Lady

14. Summertime

15. Jingle Bells

Disc 2

1. Hip Hug-Her

2. My Sweet Potato

3. Booker-Loo

4. Groovin'

5. Slim Jenkin's Place

6. Soul Sanction

7. Pigmy

9. Soul-Limbo

10. Hang 'em High

11. Time Is Tight

12. Mrs. Robinson

13. Slum Baby

14. Something

15. Melting Pot

x

Track List: The Very Best Of Booker T. & The MG's

1. Green Onions

2. Chinese Checkers

3. Groovin'

4. Soul Dressing

5. Boot-Leg

6. My Sweet Potato

7. Slim Jenkin's Place

8. Booker-Loo

9. Hip Hug-Her

10. Mo' Onions

11. Soul-Limbo

12. Hang 'Em High

13. Time Is Tight

14. Mrs. Robinson

15. Slum Baby

16. Melting Pot

x

Track List: The Best Of

1. Hang 'Em High

3. Soul-Limbo

4. Over Easy

5. Mrs. Robinson

6. Something

7. Time Is Tight

8. Johnny I Love You

10. Meditation

11. Hip Hug-Her

12. The Horse

13. Slum Baby

14. Born Under A Bad Sign

15. Light My Fire

16. It's Your Thing

17. Melting Pot

x

Track List: Melting Pot

1. Melting Pot

2. Back Home

3. Chicken Pox

4. Fuquawi

5. Kinda Easy Like

6. Hi Ride

7. L.A. Jazz Song

8. Sunny Monday

x

Track List: The Booker T. Set

1. The Horse

2. Love Child

3. Sing A Simple Song

4. Lady Madonna

5. Mrs. Robinson

6. This Guy's In Love With You

7. Light My Fire

8. Michelle

9. You're All I Need To Get By

10. I've Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)

11. It's Your Thing

x

Track List: Uptight - Soundtrack From The Motion Picture

1. Johnny I Love You (Album Version)

2. Cleveland Now

3. Children, Don't Get Weary

4. Tank's Lament

5. Blues In The Gutter (Album Version)

6. We've Got Johnny Wells

7. Down At Ralph's Joint

8. Deadwood Dick

9. Run Tank Run (Album Version)

10. Time Is Tight (Album Version)

x

Track List: Soul Limbo

1. Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy

2. La La Means I Love You

3. Hang 'Em High

4. Willow Weep For Me

5. Over Easy

6. Soul-Limbo

7. Eleanor Rigby

8. Heads Or Tails

9. (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone

10. Born Under A Bad Sign

11. Foxy Lady

x

Track List: Doin' Our Thing

1. I Can Dig It

2. Expressway (To Your Heart)

3. Doin' Our Thing

4. You Don't Love Me

5. Never My Love

6. The Exodus Song

7. The Beat Goes On

8. Ode To Billy Joe

9. Blue On Green

10. You Keep Me Hanging On

11. Let's Go Get Stoned

x

Track List: And Now!

1. My Sweet Potato

2. Jericho

3. No Matter What Shape

4. One Mint Julep

5. In The Midnight Hour

6. Summertime

7. Working In The Coal Mine

8. Don't Mess Up A Good Thing

9. Think

10. Taboo

11. Soul Jam

12. Sentimental Journey (Album Version)

x

Track List: Green Onions

1. Green Onions

2. Rinky-Dink

3. I Got A Woman

4. Mo' Onions

5. Twist And Shout

6. Behave Yourself

7. Stranger On The Shore

8. Lonely Avenue

9. One Who Really Loves You

10. You Can't Sit Down

11. A Woman, A Lover, A Friend

12. Comin' Home Baby

x

Track List: Hip Hug-Her

1. Hip Hug-Her

2. Soul Sanction

3. Get Ready

4. More

5. Double Or Nothing

6. Carnaby St.

7. Slim Jenkin's Joint

8. Pigmy

9. Groovin'

10. Booker's Notion

11. Sunny

x

Track List: That's The Way It Should Be

1. Slip Slidin'

2. Mo' Greens

3. Gotta Serve Somebody

4. Let's Wait Awhile

5. That's The Way It Should Be

6. Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)

7. Camel Ride

8. Have A Heart

9. Crusin'

10. I Can't Stand The Rain

11. Sarasota Sunset

12. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

Comments

Report as inappropriate
veggiearies
❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
good music.
Report as inappropriate
Mu sic by Sam cooke
Report as inappropriate
istopcat
Lewie Steinberg was a session musician also at STAX and he was the bass player on the Mar-Keys' Last Night hit.
Report as inappropriate
Yes indeed!
Report as inappropriate
Nice funky jam antdawg64
Report as inappropriate
Booker T is the man!
Report as inappropriate
BEST INSTRUMENTAL GREEN ONIONS
Report as inappropriate
This song puts some juice in your step
Report as inappropriate
One of the best
Report as inappropriate
reubanks66
Solid, professional s , craftsmen
Report as inappropriate
Outstanding! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Report as inappropriate
zoeyruby
timeless grooves
Report as inappropriate
Amazing
Report as inappropriate
Classic!
Report as inappropriate
awesome listened to green onions when I was a kid
Report as inappropriate
GREATEST MUSIC ERA
Report as inappropriate
Al Jackson Jr is the greatest drummer that ever lived
Report as inappropriate
Asesore music
Report as inappropriate
It's awesome when you can feel the music...PEAC E
Report as inappropriate
The stax best music.
Report as inappropriate
Green Onions...... a true Classic....t h a n k s Pandora for bringing them to me........I love Onions by the way......
Report as inappropriate
What impressive musicians they still are today - good stuff that has held up thru the years.
Report as inappropriate
Another thing the 1960's was: Ranuchy! (Another great one from Booker T. & the M.G's.;)
Report as inappropriate

Report as inappropriate
mike3345mike
great!!!3$
Report as inappropriate
Green onions. ...really? ??
Report as inappropriate
My newest blues grove !!!
Report as inappropriate
dragonlady60 8 8
My fave song
Report as inappropriate
Stax Records. Lightning in a bottle. Still love the funky sound of Stax soul!
Report as inappropriate
mseco95215
Cool n smooth
Report as inappropriate
altetly
2?
Report as inappropriate
Watermelon Man
Report as inappropriate
dragonlady60 8 8
shot gun...green onions

Don't have a Pandora account? Sign up

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

It looks like your browser does not support modern SSL/TLS. Please upgrade your browser.

If you need help, please email: pandora-support@pandora.com.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[119, 76, 127, 91, 95, 77, 123, 71, 71, 94, 95, 113, 113, 125, 103, 84, 119, 81, 117, 124, 73, 73, 78, 93, 81, 103, 110, 88, 65, 112, 112, 72, 99, 82, 88, 115, 81, 67, 103, 73, 68, 108, 124, 113, 118, 66, 76, 101, 91, 74, 105, 82, 93, 124, 106, 93, 110, 122, 108, 109, 101, 75, 103, 112, 96, 121, 72, 127, 92, 86, 104, 114, 125, 74, 105, 89, 126, 115, 68, 93, 111, 95, 82, 81, 76, 108, 77, 122, 110, 118, 86, 79, 75, 109, 102, 115, 82, 117, 91, 114, 78, 84, 83, 87, 94, 115, 95, 78, 106, 92, 127, 65, 68, 83, 72, 101, 100, 80, 125, 73, 90, 107, 123, 113, 84, 65, 93, 67, 88, 83, 109, 86, 124, 98, 111, 119, 99, 95, 90, 87, 92, 89, 70, 107, 104, 96, 97, 108, 122, 99, 72, 97, 127, 122, 103, 107, 108, 106, 91, 95, 76, 116, 76, 94, 67, 116, 117, 71, 84, 117, 123, 97, 67, 123, 92, 99, 83, 80, 116, 122, 100, 64, 124, 100, 76, 65, 65, 67, 73, 106, 118, 124, 72, 73, 65, 100, 103, 80, 98, 82, 109, 64, 76, 75, 119, 112, 96, 90, 112, 98, 77, 105, 97, 74, 126, 65, 107, 96, 76, 122, 123, 94, 79, 99, 88, 100, 95, 74, 102, 105, 68, 83, 87, 71, 104, 73, 108, 88, 90, 110, 85, 85, 66, 68, 71, 68, 120, 117, 127, 114, 100, 77, 110, 108, 74, 86, 99, 80, 123, 69, 108, 122, 107, 107, 75, 110, 112, 69, 101, 96, 64, 74, 86, 76, 115, 69, 88, 127, 107, 122, 83, 88, 91, 69, 125, 81, 81, 118, 73, 121, 104, 74, 117, 74, 74, 83, 65, 118, 122, 101, 78, 67, 101, 70, 71, 79, 109, 113, 102, 113, 83, 65, 117, 121, 86, 117, 119, 101, 84, 111, 123, 94, 95, 102, 85, 100, 122, 101, 80, 70, 72, 73, 88, 85, 112, 114, 85, 100, 125, 123, 93, 96, 109, 86, 64, 87, 73, 64, 116, 115, 89, 93, 124, 79, 106, 117, 110, 123, 121, 96, 86, 84, 109, 104, 110, 123, 106, 91, 93, 78, 92, 82, 86, 125, 81, 75, 80, 92, 114, 87, 91, 81, 121, 64, 104, 120, 119, 75, 71, 69, 64, 73, 87, 82, 69, 111, 117, 97, 89, 118, 73, 89, 85, 109, 83, 79, 115, 85, 106, 110, 116, 64, 126, 73, 122, 102, 96, 123, 119, 114, 89, 124, 85, 67, 92, 72, 92, 119, 99, 99, 122, 79, 108, 89, 123, 73, 71, 78, 111, 105, 66, 76, 109, 74, 95, 126, 87, 97, 122, 77, 93, 101, 118, 92, 125, 65, 74, 100, 99, 69, 102, 119, 65, 83, 119, 104, 95, 96, 65, 79, 67, 77, 71, 104, 118, 80, 74, 105, 89, 119, 89, 112, 104, 88, 101, 70, 101, 119, 66, 122, 81, 90, 89, 65, 121, 102, 86, 94, 88, 80, 108, 95, 79, 105, 65, 75, 84, 113, 102, 77, 109, 95]