Booker T. & The M.G.’s tunes

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The Stax house band!

Led by piano and organ player Booker T. Jones, the Stax Records house band played behind numerous legendary artists, as well as released their own instrumental records. Most famously Green Onions.

As Stax’s answer to Motown’s Funk Brothers, they arranged and recorded for Bill Withers, Albert King, Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, and many, many more.

With the addition of the Memphis Horns, they would come to define the sound of Memphis and Southern Soul.

The list of tunes these guys are largely responsible for is seriously extensive, here’s a handful.

Green Onions, Born Under A Bad Sign, (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay, Ain’t No Sunshine, Soul Man, Hold On I’m Coming, Knock On Wood, Try A Little Tenderness, Respect (Otis Redding version), and Mr. Pitiful.

Right now, you may be asking yourself, what does M.G’s stand for? There has been a lot of debate about what the acronym M.G. stands for, including references to the car manufacturer.

The world has settled for Memphis Group but Donald Duck Dunn famously claimed it stands for musical geniuses and who can argue with that?

Let’s take a look at the core band members of this relatively unknown group that had such a huge impact on popular music.

Booker T. & The M.G.’s core band members

Booker T. Jones was the bandleader, he played piano and organ but also co-wrote many of the hits as well as produced.

Steve Cropper played guitar and also co-wrote many of the songs, most famously (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay with Otis Redding.

Donald Duck Dunn was not the first bass player, he replaced Lewie Steinberg but he did become synonymous with the band and did have the longest involvement with them.

Al Jackson Jr. was a founding member of the band. He played drums but also produced, most famously Albert King. Not just involved with Stax, Al Jackson Jr also recorded for Hi records where he played on Al Green‘s smash hit Let’s Stay Together. Other credits include Rod Stewart, Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, Ann Peebles, and Donny Hathaway.

Booker T. & The M.G.’s tunes | Related pages

(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay

G | B7 | C | A |
Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun, I’ll be sittin’ when the evenin’ comes.
G | B7 | C | A |
Watching the ships roll in. Then I watch ’em roll away again, yeah.

(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay chords.

Ain’t No Sunshine

Am7 Em G5 | Am7 | Am7 Em G5 |
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, it’s not warm when she’s away.
Am7 | Em7 | Dm7 | Am7 Em G5 | Am7 |
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, she always gone too long anytime she goes away.

Ain’t No Sunshine chords.

Born Under A Bad Sign

Db7 | Db7 | Db7 | Db7 (Gb G) |
Born under a bad sign, I’ve been down since I began to crawl.
Ab7 | Gb7 | Db7 | Db7 |
If it wasn’t for bad luck, you know I wouldn’t have no luck at all.

Born Under A Bad Sign chords.


G7 | F7 |
(Oh) What you want, (Oh) Baby, I got it.
G7 | F7 |
(Oh) What you need, (Oh) Do you know I got it?

Respect chords.

Soul Man

G G7 G | G G7 G |
Coming to you, on a dusty road,
G G7 G | G G7 G |
good loving, I got a truckload.

Soul Man chords.

Booker T. & The M.G.’s on the web

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