Booker T. & the MG´s: The Letter - Sheet Music Download

Interpreter: Booker T. & the MG´s
Music Genres: Rock
Level: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Order No. 101-565-8002d
Publisher: jazzinotes
Transcription: Right hand Note-for-Note, left hand arranged, incl. chord symbols
Delivery Option: Download

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Interpreter Booker T. & the MG´s
Music by Wayne Carson Thompson
Words by Wayne Carson Thompson
Subgenres Blues-, Funk- & Jazz-Rock
Instruments El. Organ solo
Instruments on the Recording El. Organ, El. Guitar, El. Bass, Drums
Transcription Right hand Note-for-Note, left hand arranged, incl. chord symbols
Album Booker T & the MG´s - Booker T & the MG´s play the 'Hip Hits'
Duration 2:39
Level 2
Pages 5

Booker T. & The MG’s (Memphis Group) was an American soul band who gained popularity in the early 60’s through their instrumental hits.  The story behind their instrumental titles goes back to the Rockabilly singer Billy Lee Riley, who simply didn’t show up to one of their planned studio sessions. The band used the time to record an instrumental title. However there was still side B of the planned single. Booker T (e-organ) and Steve Crooper (e-guitar) quickly came up with a riff, and half an hour later they recorded the roughly arranged track.  The second take was used for side B of the single, and was named Green Onions, released in May, 1962.  Only three months later, the producer and distributor contacted them and insisted that the single be released on the Stax label – get this – in reversed order, with Green Onions on side A! This reversal lead to an enormous success: four weeks as Nr 1 in the US Rhythm&Blues charts, and Nr 3 in the pop charts.  After this they released many more instrumental titles, especially instrumental versions of well-known pop songs and jazz standards, such as The Letter  and Georgia On My Mind (also available from jazzinotes).  

The Letter is considered one of the shortest pop hits.  It was conceived in Memphis, home to both the song’s composer Wayne Carson Thompson and one of its main interpreters, the Box Tops. The recording session did not bode well for future success: over 30 takes using very time consuming recording technology (12-band tape recorder), the then unusual use of sounds (like an airplane) combined with the total inexperience of the producer.  Success, however, ensued quickly thereafter: the song was number one in US charts for four consecutive weeks.  Booker T & the MG’s were not the only ones to cover this song successfully – Joe Cocker is also on the list.

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