Steve Cropper

Birth Name Steven Lee Cropper
Born October 21, 1941 Dora, Missouri, U.S.
Age 78 Years
Genres R&B, soul, funk, electric blues, blues
Instruments Guitar
Associated acts Booker T. & the M.G.'s, The Mar-Keys, the Blues Brothers,
Otis Redding, the Jeff Beck Group, Sam & Dave, Ringo Starr,
John Lennon, Carla Thomas, Tower of Power, Wilson Pickett,
Eddie Floyd, Ambergris, Albert King

Steven Lee Cropper (born October 21, 1941), sometimes known as “The Colonel”, is an American guitarist, songwriter and record producer. He is the guitarist of the Stax Records house band, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, which backed artists such as Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, and Johnnie Taylor. He also acted as the producer of many of these records. He was later a member of the Blues Brothers band. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him 39th on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

Video Playlist
1/3 videos
Steve Cropper Performs on Conan
Steve Cropper Performs on Conan
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'Duck' Dunn
'Duck' Dunn
With A Little Help From My Friends
With A Little Help From My Friends

Born on a farm near Dora, Missouri, Cropper moved with his family to Memphis at the age of nine. Cropper acquired his first guitar via mail order at the age of 14.

He admired guitarists including Tal Farlow, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Reed, Chet Atkins, Lowman Pauling of the Five Royales and Billy Butler of the Bill Doggett band.

Cropper and guitarist Charlie Freeman formed the Royal Spades, who eventually became the Mar-Keys. The name referred to the marquee outside Stax studios, known as Satellite Records at the time. Eventually, the Mar-Keys began playing on sessions and had a hit single of their own with “Last Night” in 1961.

Besides being impressed with the young guitarist’s playing, Stax Records president Jim Stewart saw professionalism and maturity beyond Cropper’s years. When American Records founder Chips Moman left Stax, Cropper became the company’s, A&R man.

He became a founding member of the Stax house band Booker T. & the M.G.’s, along with Hammond organ player Booker T. Jones, bassist Lewie Steinberg (who was replaced by Donald “Duck” Dunn soon thereafter) and drummer Al Jackson Jr. As a house guitarist, he played on many recordings such as “(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay,” co-written with and performed by Otis Redding and Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man” on which he was mentioned by name. When Cropper played on the song’s remake by the Blues Brothers, lead singer John Belushi again mentioned Cropper.

Top 3 Steve Cropper Recordings




How To Play Guitar Like Steve Cropper

Steve Cropper Soul Man

Authentic Guitar TAB: More than anyone, Steve Cropper helped shape the sound of soul music in the ’60s. This excellent anthology offers 22 classic songs that bear his imprint, including: (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay * Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song) * Green Onions * Hold On, I’m Comin’ * I Can’t Stand the Rain * In the Midnight Hour * Soul Man and more.