You know Steve Cropper from his legendary work with Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, William Bell, Johnnie Taylor — and, of course, with Booker T. and the MGs. His beginnings with the Stax Record label, however, were decidedly less glamorous.
In fact, he performed scores of menial tasks, beginning with a stint at the record store attached to Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton’s label offices at the former Capitol Theatre in South Memphis.
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Pop culture tells us that the Steve Cropper-produced smash “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” stands as Otis Redding’s final recording. Not so, says Cropper. In fact, he and Redding had been sure for sometime before the scalding soul singer’s death that this song would be Redding’s long-awaited breakout moment.
It was, of course, But only after a plane carrying Redding crashed.
Steve Cropper has had several signature moments in popular music — as a sideman, composer and producer on so many key Stax sides, and as a member of both Booker T. and the MGs and the Blues Brothers. He’s still active today as a solo artist.
That doesn’t mean there weren’t dark times. READ THE REST.
On August 13 of this year, Flash Harry is due to be finally released on CD for the first time. Produced by Steve Cropper, Flash Henry hasn’t been available for some 30 years — and was never issued in North America. Varèse Sarabande Records rights both wrongs with its August 13, 2013 reissue, which includes all 10 original tracks — performed with the likes of Donald “Duck” Dunn, Klaus Voormann, Jim Keltner, Ringo Starr, Lowell George, Bill Payne, Van Dyke Parks, Mac Rebennack and Bobby Keyes, among others — as well as four new bonus tracks.
Listen to an exclusive stream of the alternate version of “Old Dirt Road” , compliments of Something Else Reviews, as well as some more info.
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British guitar hero Peter Frampton kicked off Frampton’s Guitar Circus on May 28 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, where he now lives. The opening-night show featured blues guitarist Robert Cray, Vince Gill and Memphis-soul great Steve Cropper.
As he did with his 2011-2012 tour celebrating the 35th anniversary of his eight-times-platinum 1976 album Frampton Comes Alive, the 63-year-old guitarist will offer live recordings of the Guitar Circus shows. “We’re going to make each show available online as a download within 48 hours of the show,” he says.
Here are the Peter Frampton’s Circus dates that Steve Cropper will be appearing on:
May 28 in Nashville, TN @ The Ryman
May 31 in Hollywood, FL @ Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
June 1 in St. Augustine, FL @ St. Augustine Amphitheater
June 2 in Clearwater, FL @ Ruth Eckerd Hall
June 17 in Grand Rapids, MI @ Meijer Gardens Amphitheater
June 19 in Indianapolis, IN @ The Lawn @ White River State
June 20 in Columbus, OH @ The LC Pavilion Outdoor Amphitheater
FULL SCHEDULE HERE