This Soul Music Band Championed Racial Integration When Everyone Thought It Was Impossible

| How Africa News
Booker 1


When the world thought it was impossible, the Booker T and the MGs band subconsciously preached racial integration through their music. The band consisted of one white person and three African Americans. From a distance, the group appeared to be made up of two whites and two blacks because one had mixed-race ancestry.

According to the Guardian, the group encountered racism during some of its musical tours but used their performance to dispel the prevalent racial sentiments.

Green Onions became their signature song. “It was originally called Funky Onions, but that sounded like a cuss word to laced-up, deep-south America, so we had to retitle it,” the group explained.

One of Stax Records’ patrons owned an MG motor car, which is how they got the name Booker T and the MGs. The legendary name of the soul music group was inspired by this. The British vehicle manufacturing company that created the brand, on the other hand, was not pleased with the group’s association with its identity and warned it not to ride on its back.

The band decided that the abbreviation MG stood for Memphis Group. Duck Dunn, one of its later members, thought “Musical Geniuses” was the best fit.

Booker T. Jones, the band’s lead singer, was only 18 years old when their first hit record “Green Onions” charted and earned millions of dollars. Jones played organ, Al Jackson, Jr. played drums, Steve Cropper played guitar, and Lewie Polk Steinberg played bass. These were the original members, but other musicians joined the band when others left in 1965. According to Britannica, Jones was the one who brought Cropper, Jackson, and Dunn into the fold.

The band’s racial makeup became a point of reference for integration campaigners. They served as an inspiration to many young artists who were interested in soul music. The band lasted until 1972, when they lost the spark that made them Booker T and the MGs. They returned, but it took them a while to find their groove again.

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. Aside from their popularity in the 1960s, they left a legacy of mastery over instrumentals and soul music.

Booker T and the MGs were formed at Stax Records. Stax Records was founded in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1960s. Stax Studios provided a welcoming environment where race was never an issue. No one was bothered by the recording studio’s rates because Stax was more concerned with the talent. Ideas were written on paper and then translated into rhythms that delighted thousands of music fans.


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