By Reneé Ruwe and Ed McCarthy
WOODSTOCK - A special solo performance was held at the Bearsville Theatre recently when Booker T. - famed songwriter and front man of Booker T. and the MG’s - took the stage for a show.
Booker T. took the audience on a walk down memory lane with historical accounts of the legendary Watt/Staxx/Volt recording studio and artists. He told of playing piano on "(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay" for Otis Redding’s last recording session and also of how he came to play bass for Bob Dylan’s "Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door". He also fondly recalled the weekend that he and Steve Cropper spent at the late Levon Helms’ house and playing at his Midnite Ramble in Woodstock.
Booker T. performed many of his hits, including "Green Onions", "Soul Limbo", and "Hang ‘Em High". He also performed renditions of such soul classics as "Hold On I’m Coming", "(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay", "Take Me to the River", "The Thrill is Gone", "Ain’t No Sunshine", and "What I Say".
Booker T. Jones was a musical prodigy who played both at his church in Memphis and at school. At 16 he played on his first record - Rufus and Carla Thomas’ "Cause I Love You". Jones met his future guitarist, the legendary Steve Cropper, at Satellite Records store, also owned by Watt/Staxx/Volt owner Jim Stewart.
Over the years Booker T. wrote songs for Otis Redding and Cream. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and received a lifetime achievement Grammy Award.