Booker T Jones - organ; Steve Cropper - guitar; Donald "Duck" Dunn - bass; Willie Hall - drums
This recording was made in 1977 at New York City's Bottom Line, when Booker T & the MG's had reformed to make Universal Language, a new studio album. The band having officially disbanding in 1972, the LP and tour came as an unexpected and welcomed event for thousands of soul music fans. The MG's, originally formed in 1961, had been the first interracial group to score a Top 10 hit in America, and soon after became the house band for the legendary Stax/Volt label. While at Stax, the group produced and backed such soul icons as The Staple Singers, Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, Sam & Dave, and Isaac Hayes, among others.
One of the few instrumental groups to consistently chart hits, they scored a gold record with the instrumental R&B classic "Green Onions" in 1962. This show features original members Booker T Jones, Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn (actually, Dunn was not the first bassist, but was with the band shortly after they formed and while they had their hits.) Original drummer Al Jackson, who had planned on being part of the 1976/77 reunion, had been tragically shot and killed in Memphis shortly before the group reformed. On this tour, he was replaced with session player Willie Hall.
Highlights include "Hip Hugger," "Hang Em High," which was originally recorded as the theme song for the Clint Eastwood spaghetti western of the same name, and the eternal "Green Onions," which opens the show. Shortly after this tour ended, the MG's disbanded again, and Cropper and Dunn went on to form The Blues Brothers Band with John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd.