With Otis @ Monterrey

Date: June 17, 2017

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At the conclusion of “Philly Dog,” the television host Tommy Smothers came onstage and encouraged the crowd to give a warm welcome to “Mister Otis Redding.” The MG’s initial downbeat was answered by a syncopated fanfare from the horns and a fusillade of accents from the drums as Redding, resplendent in a teal-green silk suit, strode to the microphone, snatched it off its stand, flashed an enormous smile, and issued what was very likely the first unequivocal command to come from the stage at Monterey since the festival began. “SHAKE!” he demanded. “Everybody say it.” And again: “SHAKE! Let me hear the whole crowd.” Between the honorific tone of Tommy Smothers’ introduction and the note of total authority in the singer’s voice and the band’s accompaniment, for the 7,500 astonished young listeners who leapt to their feet and surged toward the stage, it was as if the grown-ups had arrived.


R.I.P. Gregg Allman

Date: May 28, 2017

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Friends, there are no words. I can’t believe we have lost another one of the World’s greatest. Gregg Allman was a friend, a brother and a true Gentleman. Gregg attended our Dedication Ceremony at The Smithsonian this year. Never thought it’d be our final meeting! My thoughts are with The Allman Family.

Steve Cropper

Hail, Hail Rock n Roll

Date: March 19, 2017

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So saddened to hear that rock and roll legend Chuck Berry died on Saturday at the age of 90. Tributes from across the world have been paid to the “hero of rock and roll”, famed for his hit singles Johnny B. Goode, Roll Over Beethoven and Sweet Little Sixteen. Steve Cropper said “I’m sure all of my guitar playing friends would agree, that we wouldn’t be doing what we do had it not been for Chuck Berry”.

R.I.P. Marvell Thomas

Date: January 24, 2017

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Oh, so sad we lost Marvell Thomas. He was such a contributor to the STAX family. Also a great supporter to Memphis Music. Marvell always offered his band for many Memphis charities and other events. It was such a pleasure being around Marvell. My heart goes out to his sisters and family.

Thomas was the son of legendary R&B and soul singer Rufus Thomas. His sisters are also noted singers Carla and Vaneese. He made a name for himself being a highly in-demand keyboardist playing with artists such as Johnnie Taylor, The Staple Singers, Little Milton, The Emotions and Etta James, just to name a few.

Washington, D.C. 12/01/16

Date: December 2, 2016

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Guitarist and BMI songwriter Steve Cropper donated three solid-body guitars and an amplifier to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History during a special ceremony today, where he also gave a showcase performance of several legendary works he contributed to the American songbook using the instruments. The objects were all used by Cropper during his legendary 60-year career ranging from songwriting and live performance to hit records and movies.


R.I.P. Eric Cudel

Date: September 29, 2016

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Yes we have lost another. One of the best musicians I’ve ever played with. Our bass player (Eric Udel) with the Original Blues Brothers Band. We have toured together for over 15 years and was starting another portion next week. Eric was Matt “Guitar” Murphy’s bass player and replaced “Duck” Dunn when Duck left to tour with Neil Young. Eric was a true brother and a true supporter of the “Blues Brothers Band”. He will be greatly missed. Our prayers go out to all who loved him.

Steve Cropper

NEW Tour Dates

Date: July 25, 2016

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Steve will be on tour this summer with the “Original” Blues Brothers Band in Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Norway and Finland

Check out dates and venues HERE

The Original BLUES BROTHERS BAND is alive and well. Original members, hand-picked by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, have assembled the ultimate rhythm and blues review and have emerged as a powerful entity in their own right. The BLUES BROTHERS BAND are best known for the Universal Pictures feature films “The Blues Brothers” and “Blues Brothers 2000” and the Atlantic Record triple-platinum album “Briefcase Full of Blues” and the soundtracks from both films.

R.I.P. Lewie Steinberg

Date: July 23, 2016

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I am so deeply saddened by the loss of our original bass player, Lewie Steinberg. A true gentleman and great musician. Lewie played bass on our first hits “Last Night” by “THE MAR-KEYS” and “GREEN ONIONS” Booker T & The MG’s and many early STAX hits. We recorded together on many sessions and preformed several shows as Booker T & The MG’s.

Lewie you are greatly missed. I last saw Lewie at Donald “Duck” Dunns’ funeral. Lewie, God bless and thanks for the wonderful early years and sharing your musical knowledge. My prayers go out to Lewie’s family and friends.

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.


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.