On this episode Rock n Roll Librarian Shelley Sorenson and Rock n Roll Archaeologist Christian Swain explore a musician vital to the Stax Records and Southern Soul sounds, Booker T. Jones. As we discuss his memoir, “Time is Tight: My Life, Note By Note”, we play samples of many Stax hits and other important tracks that Booker wrote, produced, arranged and performed on, featuring Otis Redding, William Bell, Carla and Rufus Thomas, Albert King, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Rita Coolidge, Sam and Dave and, of course, Booker T. and the MGs.
From Booker T. Jones's earliest years in segregated Memphis, music was the driving force in his life. While he worked paper routes and played gigs in local nightclubs to pay for lessons, Jones, on the side, was also recording sessions in what became the famous Stax Studios - all while still in high school. Not long after, he would form the genre-defining group Booker T. and the MGs, whose recordings went on to sell millions of copies, win a place in Rolling Stone's list of top 500 songs of all time, and help forge collaborations with some of the era's most influential artists.
Nearly five decades later, Jones's influence continues to help define the music industry, but only now is he ready to tell his remarkable life story. Time is Tight is the deeply moving account of how Jones balanced the brutality of the segregationist South with the loving support of his family and community, all while transforming a burgeoning studio into a musical mecca.
Check out all the great podcasts over on Pantheon!