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Morning Song – Green Onions

February 4, 2012

One of the problems with sharing books is they sometimes don’t get returned.  That’s happened to me twice with Dave Marsh’s “The Heart of Rock and Soul:  The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made”.  Despite not having seen the book for at least a decade, I’m pretty sure I remember Marsh’s complete review for Booker T. and the MGs instrumental hit (#2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the fall of 1962), “Green Onions”:  What happens when the world’s greatest backup band decides it’s finally time to be noticed.

Noticed they were, as “Green Onions” went to #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in the fall of 1962.

Craig Werner devotes a chapter and more of A Change Is Gonna Come to the unique place Memphis holds in the racial and musical history of mid-20th century America.  Booker T. Jones, Alan Jackson Jr., Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn not only were the house band for Stax/Volt Records.  They also embodied the creative tension that made Memphis a great center for Southern soul and popular music.  As white drummer Jim Dickinson put it, “The Memphis sound is something that’s produced by a group of social misfits in a dark room in the middle of the night….The diametric opposition, the racial collision, the redneck versus the ghetto black is what it is all about…“.

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From → History, Music

10 Comments
  1. Chris Hill permalink

    Love, love, LOVE this song. First discovered it thanks to a Blues Brothers cover, in which Elwood Blues gives the song (and it’s creators) its proper tribute. Got lucky enough to marry a woman who not only appreciated it, but appreciated it to the point where it was the song we chose to enter our wedding reception. There was only a hint of a pause when we told the band leader that THIS was the song we wanted.

    True story: In 2000 I attending a radio convention in San Francisco and our syndicator threw a party on a boat that went around SF Bay. The entertainment on the boat for the night? Booker T himself.

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