Booker T., Joel Brodsky, and the White House

by Chris Murray on April 16, 2013

Potatoe Hole, Booker T.’s album featuring Drive By Truckers and Neil Young (Anti Records).

I’ve often thought that Booker T. and the MG’s might just be the great American band. Apart from their own music, they were the band for more hits than one can imagine for Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, the Staple Singers, Delaney & Bonnie, and many more. They were the house band at Stax Records. Booker T. and the MG’s received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 2007.

I just saw Booker T. perform at the Howard Theatre and it was a strong groove. He played a cover of Bob Dylan’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door and told the audience during the intro how be played bass on that recording for Dylan. I never knew that.

Copyright © The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved. Booker T. on stage at the White House with President Obama.

Last week Booker T. played at the White House at one of the great music sessions there, which this time featured soul music. Govinda Gallery organized a number of exhibitions at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis, including the first museum exhibition for photographer Joel Brodsky; The Art of Stax: Album Photographs by Joel Brodsky. Joel photographed hundreds of images for album covers including Booker T. and the MG’s album McLemore Avenue (1970), taken on the road outside the legendary Stax Records studios in Memphis. The photo concept for that cover was a take off on the Beatles’ album cover for Abbey Road.

Photograph Copyright © Joel Brodsky. All Rights Reserved. Booker T. and the MG’s album McLemore Avenue (Stax Records, 1970).

Copyright © Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved. Chris Murray and Booker T. at the Howard Theatre, Washington, DC March 5, 2013.

Category: Blog, The Back Room   

1 response to “Booker T., Joel Brodsky, and the White House”

  1. Dave Bair says:

    Hi Chris, The album Mclemore street is Booker T. versions of Abbey Road(I have the album). You probably know this, but maybe not. Dave

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