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More than Green Onions

Posted at 10:01 AM on June 20, 2007 by Bill Wareham

Last week during our membership drive (thanks again, folks!) Cathy Wurzer and I shared a brief exchange about the source of the instrumental classic Green Onions, which was playing underneath our pleas for support. If you don't know the song, then you really haven't been paying attention the last 45 years. Booker T. Jone's B3 organ riff and Steve Cropper's distorted Telecaster lines have wormed their way into the American cultural backdrop like few other songs have or likely ever will.

But if Green Onions is all you know about Booker T. and the MGs, then you're doing yourself a disservice. The catalog is admittedly spotty, but there are some gems in there, and as the de facto house band for the Memphis-based Stax label, they contributed to many of the biggest soul hits of the 1960s. I was reminded about all of this when I stumbled on this item at npr.org.