Booker T. Jones is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, record producer and arranger, best known as the front-man of the band Booker T. and the MGs.
In Jones, the seed was planted early. Not yet a teenager, he was already hauling his stack of newspapers to Phineas Newborn's front yard where, while folding them for his after-school delivery route, he could listen to the jazz great practice piano. With those notes ringing in his head, he'd set out into the neighborhood, picking up the sound of the streets, the sound of the city, the sound of the citizensand form new rhythms in his musical mind.
Jones's first entry into professional music came at age sixteen, when he played baritone saxophone on Satellite Records' first hit, "Cause I Love You," by Rufus Thomas and Carla Thomas. Over the next few years, Jones would divide his time between studying classical music composition, composing and transposition at Indiana University and playing with the MGs in Memphis on the weekends. For more than 15 years at Stax Records, (formally Satellite) he explored the potential of soul and R&B with the MGs, both on their own albums and behind vocalists.
Jones was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and was honored with a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement on February 11, 2007. In 2011, Jones released The Road from Memphis. The backing band included Questlove (drums), "Captain" Kirk Douglas (guitar) and Owen Biddle (bass) from The Roots as well as former Motown guitarist Dennis Coffey and percussionist Stewart Killen. The album features vocals by Yim Yames, Matt Berninger, Lou Reed, Sharon Jones and Booker T. Jones himself, as well as lyrics contributed by his daughter Liv Jones. On February 12, 2012 The Road from Memphis won at the 54th Grammy Awards for Best Pop Instrumental Album. Jones holds a total of four Grammy Awards.
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