The Life Of Music Legend Booker T. Jones, Note By Note

The Life Of Music Legend Booker T. Jones, Note By Note

3:11pm Feb 19, 2020
Booker T. Jones recently released a memoir called "Time Is Tight: My Life, Note By Note," and a corresponding album called "Note By Note." Photo credit: Piper Ferguson.

Booker T. and The MGs is known for songs like "Green Onions," but bandleader and organist Booker T. Jones is also widely considered one of the most influential people in popular music. His work with Stax Records shaped soul music in the 1960s and 70s and introduced artists like Bill Withers and Otis Redding to the scene. 

Booker T. Jones is coming to The Ramkat in downtown Winston-Salem on Thursday, February 20, in support of his new album and memoir. It’s called Time Is Tight: My Life, Note By Note. The book is about his childhood, his music, and working with other musical legends.

Interview Highlights

On writing his memoir:

That book was written on napkins at restaurants, and notepads at hotels, and sitting in the stands at my son's soccer games. I did finally, before the final draft, make some time to sit down and actually write a narrative. But it was written over a long period of time in pieces. I wanted to include so much that it could have been, I think, maybe twice as long. I had an editor, a tough editor, that made hard choices about what to include — mainly important musical moments in the studio, and people that influenced me, and my family. Those were the most important inclusions. 

On the joy of playing music:

Well, it comes from the music itself. You know, I'm fortunate to be playing music and fortunate to be playing music that I wrote, a lot of it, most of it. You know, I thought I was going to at best be a music teacher or maybe a doctor. I feel fortunate to be able to live my life playing music. 

On the Hammond B3 organ:

Well, you know, I'm fascinated with it. I feel like it was the first real synthesizer because it is an electronic instrument. You know, the Hammond B3 is just not like the organs I played at church. It enables you to make practically any type of sound you can hear, the Hammond B3 does. So I've had that advantage for almost 50 years or something like that. 


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