Friday, July 22, 2016

Passings: Lewie Steinberg, Original Bass Player For Booker T. & the MGs (1933 - 2016)

by VVN Music

Lewie Steinberg, the original bass player for Booker T. & the MGs on their first two albums, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 82.

Booker T. & the MGs were originally the house band for Stax Records. In the summer of 1962, while doing studio work for Billy Dee Riley, the four members of the band (Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Al Jackson, Jr. and Steinberg) started jamming. The result was Green Onions.

The president of Stax, Jim Stewart, heard the song and decided to record the group. Originally, their first single was Behave Yourself with Green Onions on the b-side. Disc jockeys began flipping the record over and Onions went to number 3 on the Hot 100 and 1 on the R&B charts.

The band quickly assembled an album that contained both sides of the single along with a group of covers of contemporary hits. They recorded a second album, Soul Dressing (1965) but didn't duplicate the success of Green Onions before Steinberg decided to leave the group, replaced by Donald "Duck" Dunn.

Steinberg along with the other three original members of the MGs and Dunn were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, the Musicans Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

Photo: Bridgette Reynolds/Creative Commons


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