WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

The lick heard ’round the world

Amigo del blog, Eric Baker, requested something from Booker T & The MGs, so here you go, Eric. I went with this more recent clip rather than something vintage because, annoyingly, back in the ’60s the camera tended to dwell on the musicians’ faces and on the audience rather than on the guitar playing (or organ playing, in this case).

Steve Cropper’s famous lick still bites, doesn’t it? And from what I can tell, that’s Donald “Duck” Dunn on bass — not long for this world when this was taped. He died a few years ago, effectively breaking up the MGs, awesome house band at Stax Records in the glory days of Memphis R&B. Interestingly, Dunn wasn’t the bass player on “Green Onions.” He came along in ’65, taking over for founding bassist Lewie Steinberg. (And yes, I got all of this from Wikipedia; the facts were not at my fingertips.)

And don’t forget that Yesterday Road is on sale for 99 cents. I sold a whopping two copies yesterday, which earned me 70 cents! You can also give it as a gift if you already own it — just follow the EZ instructions on Amazon where it says “Give as a Gift.”

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6 comments on “The lick heard ’round the world

  1. ericjbaker
    June 14, 2014

    Cool video! Thanks. That’s definitely the late Donald Dunn on bass. I’m not sure who the drummer is, as MGs drummer Al Jackson dies in the mid ’70s. I was not aware Dunn was not the bassist on Green Onions.

    This is clearly edited down, but here’s a nice, short clip of Booker T and gang (with a session drummer) jamming on Time is Tight, my favorite tune by them.

    Those Memphis cats rule when it comes to organ-based R&B. Here’s 15-year-old Wendy Rene’s “Gone for Good.” She wrote this stuff on some beat-up little organ her mom gave her, but she recorded for Stax, so it’s very possible this is actually Booker T Jones playing on the recording.

    • Kevin Brennan
      June 15, 2014

      Thanks for those great clips. Isn’t it wild to think that band was behind so much phenomenal music that didn’t even have their name on it?

      Reminds me of the house band at Muscle Shoals too. (There’s a cool movie about that studio, if you haven’t seen it yet…)

      • ericjbaker
        June 15, 2014

        I will check that movie out. Sounds interesting. Wendy Rene’s life story would make an amazing biopic, by the way. Full of dramatic twists.

        Have you ever seen the Chili’s commercial (or is it Applebee’s?) with the “BBQ” song playing in the background? That’s a Wendy Rene recording from the mind 1960s co-written by none other than Steve Cropper.

      • Kevin Brennan
        June 15, 2014

        No kidding?! I’ll have to try and dig that up on YouTube.

      • ericjbaker
        June 15, 2014

        Saved you the trouble.

      • Kevin Brennan
        June 15, 2014

        Fantastic!

        I also found a whole Stax playlist on YouTube. Great way to wile away a Sunday afternoon…

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This entry was posted on June 14, 2014 by in Music and tagged , , , .
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