Mystery And Manners Interview with The Great Steve Cropper
"I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the Frisco Bay..."
--Otis Redding/Steve Cropper
I just conducted an hour long interview with the legendary guitarist Steve Cropper. Cropper served as the nucleus for STAX Records during the label's apex of productive creativity. Steve Cropper collaborated with musicians such as Otis Redding, Charlie Freeman, Booker T & The MGs, The Bar-Kays, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, James Burton, Eddie Floyd, Aretha Franklin, Carla Thomas, Jeff Beck, Rufus Thomas, John Lennon, Levon Helm, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and a long list of others. Of course, Cropper basically played himself in the classic Belushi film, The Blues Brothers.
We talked about his early days of growing up in Memphis, buying his first guitar and work that led to him touring the world. There will probably never be another musical powerhouse like STAX again. The collection of artists working in a collaborative atmosphere under the umbrella of STAX Records casts a long and wide shadow in the art of music. Cropper quarterbacked many of those legendary sessions.
Steve was pressed for time....record executives were waiting on him during our conversation. He's flying to Paris, France, tomorrow. We talked about his new album, his latest endeavors as well as some of the aforementioned musicians. Just by the way he conducted himself on the phone mirrored his tasteful, but driving guitar playing sound...a consummate professional. I'll burn the candle at both ends to get this and my Charlie Musselwhite up ASAP as a mean one-two punch. Steve Cropper ranks as one of my favorites. A real hero, teacher and artist...
Walkin' The Dog,