If Yankee Stadium is “the house that Babe Ruth built,” Stax Records
is “the house that Booker T, and the MG’s built.” Integral to that potent combination is MG rhythm guitarist extraordinaire Steve Cropper. As a guitarist, A & R man, engineer, producer, songwriting partner of Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd and a dozen others and founding member of both Booker T. and the MG’s and The Mar-Keys, Cropper was literally involved in virtually every record issued by Stax from the fall of 1961 through year end 1970.Such credits assure Cropper of an honored place in the soul music hall of fame. As co-writer of (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay
, Knock On Wood
and In The Midnight Hour
, Cropper is in line for immortality.
Born on October 21, 1941 on a farm near Dora, Missouri, Steve Cropper moved with his family to Memphis at the age of nine. In Missouri he had been exposed to a wealth of country music and little else. In his adopted home, his thirsty ears amply drank of the fountain of Gospel, R & B and nascent Rock and Roll that thundered over the airwaves of both black and white Memphis radio. Bit by the music bug, Cropper acquired his first mail order guitar at the age of 14. Personal guitar heroes included Tal Farlow
, Chuck Berry
, Jimmy Reed
, Chet Atkins
, Lowman Pauling
of the Five Royales and Billy Butler
of the Bill Doggett band.