New Book Includes Stax

Date: June 26, 2016

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Bruce Jenkins was twelve years old, living in Malibu with his parents, when he heard the original “Shop Around” single, by “The Miracles featuring Bill ‘Smokey’ Robinson,” the first Billboard No. 1 R&B single for Motown’s Tamla label. Released nationally in October 1960, the single would ultimately make it into the Grammy Hall of Fame, but for young Bruce, the first times he heard the song were a revelation. Jenkins grew up surrounded by music. His father, Gordon Jenkins, was a composer and arranger who worked with artists from Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday to Louis Armstrong and Johnny Cash, but was best known for his close collaboration with Frank Sinatra. His mother, Beverly, was a singer.

For Bruce, “Shop Around” ushered him into a new world of loving Motown. In Shop Around, he brings to life the first thrill of having the music claim him, provides the back story of the recording (and rerecording) of the hit single, shares sketches from his life with his father and mother, and traces how his love of music has grown and evolved over the years and how he still loves driving around San Francisco with Motown cranked up on his car stereo.

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R.I.P. Wayne Jackson

Date: June 22, 2016

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I was just informed that my dear friend and musician Wayne Jackson passed away. Wayne was our trumpet player in the Mar-Keys band and also a staff musician at STAX. Wayne always maintained his loyalty and ties with STAX and gave many private tours of the Museum. Wayne was most famous as part of the “Memphis Horns” with his friend Andrew Love. Both were with us on the famous STAX/VOLT tour in Europe 1967.

For decades, the Memphis Horns underpinned the very sound of American soul music, both at Stax Records and beyond. Jackson and Love played on such undying staples as Wilson Pickett’s ‘Land Of 1,000 Dances’ and ‘In The Midnight Hour,’ Sam & Dave’s ‘Soul Man,’ Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’ and tracks by Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Al Green and countless others.

The Lennon Riff

Date: January 3, 2016

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When John Lennon was viciously murdered on Dec. 8, 1980, he’d only begun a tentative comeback – issuing his first album since 1975’s Rock ‘n’ Roll oldies album. Stunned fans eventually sent the new Double Fantasy studio project to triple-platinum sales, even as former collaborators like Steve Cropper recalled treasured musical intersections.

 

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Cropper: No Bullshit

Date: January 3, 2016

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The day before we exhibited at the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) tradeshow, we held a special event in Dallas for our tireless sales team and to honor a few select people. We were lucky enough to have the legendary Steve Cropper put on a show for all those in attendance.

Rolling Stone magazine called Cropper one of the top 100 guitarists of all time and he certainly didn’t disappoint us. In his decorated career as an American guitarist, songwriter and producer, he has collaborated with some of history’s finest musicians, like the late Otis Redding.

We were lucky enough to sit down with Steve Cropper, enjoy a glass of wine and line up five questions for the on-going “No Bullshit” series.

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Cropper: Star Walk

Date: October 8, 2015

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They made their names in Nashville as guitar players, singers, songwriters and moguls.
 
But on Tuesday afternoon, they were all “stars.”
 
The Music City Walk of Fame inducted four new members on Tuesday afternoon: country star Miranda Lambert, rock guitar great Steve Cropper and influential executive E.W. “Bud” Wendell, as well as a posthumous honor for country music legend Johnny Cash.

Tennessean 10/4/15

Date: October 5, 2015

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Steve Cropper says when he’s out to lunch or picking up some groceries, “Other people notice it before I do.”

“They say, ‘Do you hear that?’ And I say, ‘Hear what?’”

Then, he’ll hear it. It’s him. His guitar, sliding up and down its neck at the beginning of Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man.”

“Play it, Steve!” Sam Moore exclaims on the 1967 recording, as Cropper’s guitar lets out a high howl.

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Celebrating Studio “A”

Date: October 4, 2015

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Call it irony.

Clanging sounds of hammers in the hands of construction crews reverberated across the back parking lot of the famed RCA Studio A on Saturday. The noise emanated from a multimillion-dollar development under construction on Music Row. A new development that hovers over the west side of the historic recording studio. A studio that would’ve become another multimillion-dollar development had it not narrowly avoided the wrecking ball last year — just shy of its 50th anniversary.

But Saturday wasn’t about irony, it was about celebration.

 

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Cropper Walks The Walk

Date: September 16, 2015

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RCA’s Miranda Lambert, songwriter and Rock And Roll Hall of Famer Steve Cropper, former Gaylord Pres./CEO E.W. “Bud” Wendell and Country Music Hall of Famer the late Johnny Cash will receive stars on the Music City Walk Of Fame Oct. 6 in downtown Nashville’s Walk of Fame Park.

The Music City Walk of Fame on Nashville’s Music Mile is a landmark tribute to those from all genres of music who have contributed to the world through song or other industry collaboration and made a significant contribution to the music industry with connection to Music City.

Cropper Rides With “The Killer”

Date: July 8, 2015

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Edited 6/4/15: Unfortunately, due to logistical and other concerns, Steve will not be performing at either of the UK Shows

‘THE KILLER’ Jerry Lee Lewis returning to UK for Farewell 80th Birthday Tour

Jerry will be performing at the London Palladium on the 6th Sept and at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow on the 10th September with guest appearances from James Burton, Steve Cropper & Albert Lee.

Steve Makes “Guitar World” Top 10

Date: June 9, 2015

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Steve was recently honored to be included in a list of some of the top players of recent recorded history. Ron Zabrocki, writing for Guitar World magazine, listed Steve among The Top 10 Session Guitarists of All Time.

CHECK OUT THE LIST