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Booker T. & the M.G.´s – Melting Pot

Posted on: March 9, 2008

Well, my last post is quite a while ago, I was too busy and lazy. But a look on my blog stats shows me, the visits are still coming, almost no difference to the period of regular updates. Nevertheless, from now on you also can dig some new stuff in the next weeks, urbanology is not dead!

And for the new start off urbanology selected a real highlight: Booker T. & the M.G.´s

Besides the world famous MoTown Soul and the chart-breaking Philly Sound, both from the North of the USA, the Southern Soul played an important role in the history of soul. The Muscle Shoal Studios in Alabama, Goldwax Recordings and Stax Records, both in Memphis, were the hot-spots of early soul with artists like Isaac Hayes, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Percy Sledges, Rufus Thomas, James Carr, Carla Thomas, Joe Tex and of course: Booker T. & the M.G.´s – the house band from Stax Records.

On all the important Stax releases, Booker T and the Memphis Group did serve their tight soul. The Southern Soul is rooted more in Blues than the Northern Soul, the vocals more follow the classic gospel style and there were also several links to Hillbilly- and Rock´n´Roll-acts. The young Elvis Presley was often seen in Soulsville in Memphis, Tennessee. Neil Young later even recorded some of his greatest songs together with Booker T. & the M.G.´s. In the town at the shores of the Mississippi, with its history of slavery, racial segregation, racism and where Martin Luther King was shot, soul surprisingly always was a community both, black and white, were involved. You only have to look at the cover of the “Melting Pot” record and it becomes very easy to laugh about the people, who try to segregate people again by the colour of skin and divide into black and white music (of course I don´t want to answer in the negative and deny that some kind of music was more cultivated by blacks or whites, but it is ignorant to ignore all the different influences, the interactions and exchanges).

The instrumental “solo” records from Booker T. & the M.G.´s are sure-shots too, the band fantastically focuses on the groove and “Melting Pot”, one of their later studio records from 1971, is also the first with more jam-oriented songs. With the groove-oriented drumming, looping bass lines, tight rhythm guitar and the funky Hammond organ it also had great influence on the first Hip Hop DJs in New York and until today Booker T. & the M.G.´s are sampled by an uncountable number of hip hop artists.

Groovy – the mud of the Mississippi sticks at them!

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7 Responses to "Booker T. & the M.G.´s – Melting Pot"

thanks a lot! i just saw a documentary about southern soul – such a lot of great & sexy & sweaty music – and fantastic footage of concerts by most artist you mentioned above. so next i wish for a live recording by otis…
; ))

Always Read The Fine … Oh, Never Mind
#14 Stax Records unintentionally gives away the store
Soul fans can credit Memphis’s Stax Records for classic hits by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and Booker T & the M.G.’s—but the real winner was Atlantic. In 1960, Atlantic partner Jerry Wexler liked one of Stax’s first releases enough to pay label president Jim Stewart $1,000 to lease it, and Atlantic soon contracted to market and distribute all Stax releases. Seven years later, with Stax reeling from Redding’s death, Stewart finally took a close look at the Atlantic contract and discovered he’d been bamboozled: Contrary to industry practice, Atlantic became the owner of any Stax release it handled. Stax had signed away its catalogue and future.
Unintended consequence Bob Dole flips “Soul Man” into “Dole Man” during his ’96 presidential campaign.

from: http://www.blender.com/articles/default.aspx?key=18696&pg=1
20 Biggest Record Company Screw-Ups of All Time

@sunbathinglizard

what is the name of the documentary?

and I think I might be able to let your wish come true, stay tuned!

it is the bbc documentary “soul deep”. the fun is of course all the old footage one gets to see… unfortunately it does not exist as dvd – but there might be a torrent somewhere on the web? for more information, an episode guide (in pdf-form) and some more stuff: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/souldeep

and for the rest i’m waiting! ; ))

Fanx, man!

[…] King´s dream, a fusion of so-called “white” and “black” culture. With Booker T & the MG backing him Otis had also a thunderous impact on the European crowds, where soul still almost […]

thanks for some great funky tuneage . i´m only starting to get into funk and soul and this seems to be a worthy listening experience . thanks a lot

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always open minded! feel free to leave a comment if you like or dislike the music, the review or just this blog in general. make the monologue a dialogue! (and receiving some responses keeps me motivated)

normally I try to post new stuff once a week, quality not quantity, so the front page shows you the posts of the last month, but there is a lot more to discover, just click your way thru the older entries.

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