Cricket lovers of a certain vintage will instantly recall Booker T.’s music from the track Soul Limbo, the BBC’s go-to theme tune for their coverage of the sport for many a year. While the great man barely mentions the sound of leather on willow in his much-awaited autobiography, the longevity of his career in music means he has an anecdote or two to go in its place.
This is the man, for instance, who wrote Green Onions, his soul-rocking, cosmopolitan take on the blues, when he was just 16.
Born Booker Taliaferro Jones Jr in Memphis on 12 November, 1944, Jones’ musical talent was identified early and he recounts his early days in great detail; while still at school, he would deliver papers in the morning and play gigs in nightclubs in the evenings to support his family. While at hometown record label Stax, Jones formed the groundbreaking, multi-racial Booker T. And The M.G.’s, and collaborated with some of Southern Soul’s giants, in the form of Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and Sam & Dave. Not only has the evergreen Booker T. got into the bookwriting game, he’ll also be touring the UK later in the year.