I originally had some Sweet Soul (more like heartbreak Soul to accompany my luck with women), but decided to shift gears and go with something a bit more positive. I am going to do a mix in the near future of just Sweet Soul, because as I looked for this record I realized I have a grip of Soul records I haven’t put on a mix yet. That’s another thing on the FMF list that has to be done. Here’s a a band that I was introduced to as a small child through my father, and as I got older my liking grew into admiration and utmost respect for all these musicians. Here is Booker T. & the MG’s with “Home Grown” on Stax Records from 1963.
The name Booker T. and the MG’s is synonymous with Memphis Soul, Southern Soul, Stax Records, and a whole new movement of music in the 1960’s. One of the first racial integrated bands, their sound was one of a kind, and forged the way for many to come. They were the house band for Stax and their sound was lent to many records. Maybe you’ve heard records they were on (sometimes as a whole band, but mostly as individual players) such as: “Soul Man”, “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”, and “Try a Little Tenderness”, among many others. From their humble start at Sun Records as a backing band to their Stax Records studio days, Stax European tours, to the Beatles infatuation with the band, Booker T. and the MG’s are one of the baddest bands ever. I can remember my father coming home from Vietnam when I was very young and bringing back a Panasonic hi-fi stereo with a turntable, and tons of records. One was the Best of Booker T. and the MG’s, a record I still have today. It was a bootleg, and I can say that because the inside of the record cover was actually a Led Zeppelin Lp cover. I hope to go into some more in depth info on this band at a later date, as I have plenty of material to cover. I may just do a whole week of these guys, I dig them so much.
“Home Grown” has the slow rolling feel of their smash hit (and the song they are most noted for) “Green Onions”. The guitar work of Steve Cropper is killer as Booker T.’s organ floats along while Lewie Stienberg’s bass stays in the pocket with Al Jackson’s drums. No Donald Duck Dunne on bass ’til 1965, but either way the band is in fine shape on “Home Grown”. If a DJ put this record on, you would instantly recognize the sound, the sound of Memphis. I highly recommend the book Soulsville, USA by Rob Bowman on Shirmar Trade Books. It’s extensive, has small print, but totally worth it. If you want to hear the real deal about Stax, Memphis, and the Memphis Sound, that’s the book to get. I’ll be back Friday with some more dusty treats. Keep Diggin’!