Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Friday, April 16, 2010

100 Records That Shook The World, #76

Green Onions

Booker T. and the M.G.'s

In 1962 a racially integrated Memphis group with a 17-year-old keyboardist at the helm, who were the house band on hundreds of records on the Stax label, became an overnight phenomenon by releasing 'Green Onions'. It came about as an accident: while the band were in the studio recording a session with Billy Lee Riley they started jamming during some downtime, and Stax label boss Jim Stewart liked what he heard and pressed REC. Stax wanted to release the song Behave Yourself as the A-side with Green Onions on the flip, but the band and various Memphis DJs thought otherwise, and Green Onions got all the airplay. The record became an instant success when DJ Reuben Washington, at Memphis radio station WLOK, played it four times in succession, even before the tune or the band had an agreed name.
The single went to #1 on the US Billboard R&B chart and #3 on the pop chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

The M.G.'s formed a sort of mutual admiration society with the Beatles, of all people. John Lennon fondly referred to them as "Book A Table and The Maitre D's". and Paul McCartney played bass melodically as did the M.G.'s' Donald "Duck" Dunn. In 1970 the M.G.'s released McLemore Avenue, named after the street where Stax was locatedan album of medleys of tracks from Abbey Road. Even the cover was a pastiche of the famous Beatles album cover:

Here are the boys:


  1. Rupe is a HUGE fan of Booker T. and The M.G.'s. Fortunate enough to have seen them as well.

    Man ... to have seen them when then first came on the seen ... that must've been something.

    They had tracks in "Barfly" featuring Micky Rourke ... where I completely fell in love with "Hip Hug Her".

    Satisfying ... to the last note .....

  2. Amen, Rupe. My dad had an original copy of "Time Is Tight"/"Hang 'Em High" which I held on to for many years until the grooves finally gave out. I used to go see a local band called The Invaders in which the young keyboardist Jack had an awesome Hammond with a Leslie Cabinet that nearly filled half the tiny bar room. They played Time Is Tight every time and it was a trip.

    Barfly was a movie I saw with friends when it came out on video. I loved it, but other people didn't care for it. I didn't mind, I'd been a fan of Mickey's ever since The Outsiders and Rumble Fish (which had an awesome soundtrack too, I might add, by the great Stewart Copeland... I had the album!). Ah, those were indeed the days.


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