On a Mission w/ Rich Medina: Booker T. Jones – R&B/Soul Music Legend

Earlier this summer, Rich Medina caught up with legendary songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Booker T. Jones (frontman of the long-running instrumental R&B band Booker T. & the M.G.’s) ahead of a free live concert performance at Brooklyn Bridge Park as part of the Celebrate Brooklyn live music dance parties.

In the first episode of our new series, On a Mission with Rich Medina, Booker T. Jones spoke to Rich Medina about some of the highlights of his long career in music: the early days of playing the organ and the oboe in grade school; forming his own band, composing and releasing the classical instrumental jam “Green Onions” at the young age of sixteen; learning music theory, composition, and orchestration and earning a music degree from Indiana University while fronting a successful band; and the early days of the classic American soul and R&B record label Stax Records. He also talked about singing lead for the very first time on his latest album The Road from Memphis (on which he collaborate with ?uestlove of The Roots and Sharon Jones of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings), and about musicians and artists covering and sampling his work, from composer and arranger Henry Mancini to Jay-Z and Kanye West (whose international hit “Otis” sampled “Try A Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding, which had Booker T. and the MGs as the backing band).