#493: Melting Pot by Booker T. & the M.G.’s
Peak Month: July 1971
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKVN’s chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #45
YouTube.com link: “Melting Pot”
Booker T. & the M.G.’s is a band founded in Memphis in the summer of 1962. That summer 17-year-old keyboardist Booker T. Jones, 20-year-old guitarist Steve Cropper, and two seasoned players, bassist Lewie Steinberg and drummer Al Jackson Jr. were in the Memphis studio to back the former Sun Records recording aritst Billy Lee Riley. During downtime, the four started playing around with a bluesy organ riff. The president of Stax Records, Jim Stewart, was in the control booth. He liked what he heard, and he recorded it. Cropper remembered a twelve-bar blues riff that Jones had come up with weeks earlier on a Hammond M3 organ. Before too long a second track was recorded. Stewart wanted to release the single with the first track, “Behave Yourself”, as the A-side and the second track as the B-side. And so “Green Onions” was released as the B-side. However, Cropper and radio DJs argued that “Green Onions” was the better A-side. Soon, Stax re-released Booker T. & the M.G.’s’ “Green Onions” as the A-side.