November 12 in Memphis Music History
What’s left to be said about this man? I don’t want to simply re-state names and dates, but there are a lot of them. Known as a piano/keyboard player, specifically a Hammond B3, he started down the road to becoming a foundation of “The Memphis Sound” when at 16 he backed up Rufus and daughter Carla Thomas - on saxophone. Two years later he introduced the world to that sound when he and his band mates wrote and performed an instrumental soul classic. That band? This teenager, the youngest of the four original members, brought together an integrated group - two white, two black. Who did that in 1962 Memphis? A Booker T Washington High School band geek and church organ prodigy! That band saw a turbulent ‘60’s,with a different bass player after that first effort, and made Memphis and modern soul music what it is. Besides being the sound behind all those Stax Records greats, he produced Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” and Willie Nelson’s “Stardust” album. And his innovation continues. He has collaborated with The Roots, Drive By Truckers, and a host of new talent, including Withers’ daughter Kori. When I saw him, he had his son playing guitar with him. They recorded “Father Son Blues” for his album “Sound the Alarm”.
What’s left to be said? Well, he’s still writing his own story, but this one ends with HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOOKER T JONES! Born on this day in 1944.
I’ve posted the classics before, so here's something a little different - Representing Memphis - Youtube