In 1973, Dunn and Stax session guitarist Bobby Manuel recruited B-3 organ phenom Carson Whitsett to be part of a band that was to back up a promising new Stax artist named Stefan Anderson. Later, Al Jackson was brought in. The project, however, did not ultimately yield any results, but the rehearsals were promising, prompting Jackson and Dunn to reform The M.G.'s. This version of the band featured Whitsett in the place of Booker T, so was billed “The MG's” rather than “Booker T. & The M.G.'s”.
The 1973 album entitled The MG's, with Manuel and Whitsett replacing Cropper and Jones, was not commercially successful, though it was critically well received. Carson Whitsett would go on to back up Bobby “Blue” Bland, Little Milton, and Kathy Mattea, and have his songs recorded by the likes of Johnnie Taylor, Solomon Burke, B. B. King, Etta James, Conway Twitty, and Lorrie Morgan. Bobby Manuel would become a staple of the Memphis music scene playing with everybody from Al Green to Albert King and later founded HighStacks Records in a tribute to Stax and Hi Records.
After a promising meeting in late September 1975, Jones and Cropper (who were now living in Los Angeles) and Jackson and Dunn (still in Memphis), decided to give each other three months to finish up all of their projects. They would then devote three years to what would be renamed Booker T. Jones & the Memphis Group. Nine days later (October 1), Al Jackson, the man Cropper would remember as “the greatest drummer to ever walk the earth”, was murdered in his home.
The remaining three members eventually regrouped under the classic name Booker T. & The MGs. Bringing in drummer Willie Hall, a Stax session musician who played on many Stax hits (such as Isaac Hayes's “Theme from Shaft”) as an official member, the group recorded the album Universal Language for Asylum Records in 1977. The album didn't meet with either commercial or critical success, and the band once again dissolved.
Over the next decade, Cropper, Dunn and Jones remained very active, producing, writing, and playing with other artists. All three joined The Band's drummer Levon Helm as part of his RCO All-Stars. In 1977, Cropper and Dunn famously became part of The Blues Brothers Band, appearing on the number one album Briefcase Full of Blues. Cropper and Dunn, along with drummer Willie Hall, also appeared in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. Cropper, Dunn and Hall later reprised their roles in Blues Brothers 2000.
Read more about this topic: Booker T. & The M.G.'s
Famous quotes containing the word reunions:
“Some of the smartest women in the country said that theyre too embarrassed to attend their reunions at Harvard Business School if they have dropped out of the work force, left the fast track by choosing part-time work, or decided to follow anything other than the standard male career path.”
—Deborah J. Swiss (20th century)