Al Jackson, Jr., drummer
Booker T & the MG's
birth name: Albert Jackson, Jr.

Al Jackson, Jr.

November 27, 1935, Memphis, TN ~ October 1, 1975, Memphis, TN

For this to work, you had to have someone behind the drums who understood the formula. The current had to flow unimpeded, at every speed; the slowest tunes needed that pulse as much as the ones that rode an up-tempo rush. You needed a drummer who respected the air in the rhythm, who could resist the temptation to fill every hole with reminders of his virtuosity … … resist, that is, until the perfect fill, perfectly positioned, could explode the tune - like the strike of a match. On top of that, you needed a drummer whose tempo was perfect, who locked each take down right where it belonged but could ramp it up on stage, where live energy made it appropriate. All of this ruled out pretty much every drummer on earth at that time save Al Jackson Jr. - and it’s everyone’s good fortune that this amazing musician, who transformed America's idea of rhythm before his tragically premature departure, was on that gig. ~ Drum Magazine: Al Jackson, Jr./The Sound Of 1960s Soul

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Honoring musicians. Celebrating birthdays. Remembering death days.

Also on November 27 ~ Jimi Hendrix born 

November 27, 1999 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (4) Marc Anthony, I Need To Know ~ #2 (2) Brian McKnight, Back At One ~ #1 (1) Santana featuring Rob Thomas, Smooth


Al Jackson, Jr. was the excellent drummer who kept Booker T. & the MG's in line, both on their own recordings as well as on dozens of sessions for artists contracted to Hi and Stax Records. Born in Memphis in 1934, he came up with producer Willie Mitchell at the Hi label and played on dozens of hits by Al Green and Ann Peebles, among others. Keyboard player Booker T. Jones, who had played in Mitchell's band as well, considered Jackson the best drummer in Memphis. In 1962, he persuaded Jackson to join Stax Records, where the pair joined guitarist Steve Cropper and (later) bassist Donald Duck Dunn to form Booker T. & the MG's, arguably the best house band in history. ~ Allmusic: Al Jackson, Jr. ~ retrieved September 28, 2013 © Allmusic

Al Jackson, Jr. ~ Named one of the Rhythm 100 Most Influential Dummers in 2011 ~ Jackson provided the perfect rock steady beats behind the greatest sixties soul recordings. ~ 2011 © Rhythm/Musicradar

As a Writer or co-writer

Al Green ~ Let's Stay Together (Green/Jackson/Mitchell) ~ Ranked #19 SoulBounce Top 100 Soul/R&B Songs in 2008 ~ What can I possibly say about this song that hasn't already been said? ~ 2008 © SoulBounce

As a Session musician, guest or band member

Al Green ~ Call Me (1973) ~ Ranked #290 Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time in 2012 ~ By the time they recorded the graceful, almost perfectly rendered Call Me, Green and producer Willie Mitchell could do little wrong. To hammer that home, Green showed he could rival Ray Charles as an interpreter of country songs on the killer downtempo cover of Hank Williams' I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. ~ 2012 © Rolling Stone

Booker T & the MG's

As the house band at Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, Booker T. & the MG's may have been the single greatest factor in the lasting value of that label's soul music, not to mention Southern soul as a whole. Their tight, impeccable grooves could be heard on classic hits by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Albert King, and Sam & Dave, and for that reason alone, they would deserve their subsequent induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. But in addition to their formidable skills as a house band, on their own they were one of the top instrumental outfits of the rock era. ~ Allmusic: Booker T. & the MG's ~ retrieved September 28, 2013 © Allmusic

Booker T. & the MG's ~ Inducted in 1992 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame ~ By contrast to Motown’s orchestrated, pop-soul records, the Stax approach was lean, economical and deeply groove-oriented. Between 1963 and 1968, Booker T. and the MGs appeared on more than 600 Stax/Volt recordings, including classics by such artists as Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, Johnnie Taylor and William Bell. As a result of Stax’s affiliation with Atlantic Records, the group also worked with Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, and Albert King. ~ 1992 © Rock & Rock Hall Of Fame

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