Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Booker T. in the earliest days of "Soulsville"

I have really enjoyed reading Peter Guralnick's "Sweet Soul Music," which details the history of Southern Soul music.
I have reached 1959-60 in the narrative.
Jim Stewart and his sister, Estelle Axton, have formed the embryonic Stax Records and local musicians are beginning to congregate at the label's headquarters, the old Capitol Theater at 926 East McLemore in Memphis.
Among the young musicians making that scene are STEVE CROPPER, an engineering student at Memphis State who played in high-school band the Royal Spades with DONALD "DUCK" DUNN and Estelle's son, Packy Axton.
Meanwhile,14-year-old BOOKER T. JONES (pictured), son of a high school math teacher, is sneaking into
Clifford Miller's Flamingo Room to accompany Willie Mitchell's band. Mitchell's drummer, AL JACKSON JR., is the son of a local band leader.
The scene is just coalescing, but it's exciting to think that the four highlighted individuals will eventually form BOOKER T. & THE MGs.


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