Integral to the potent sound of the iconic Stax Records in Memphis is Grammy-Award-winning songwriter and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame musician Steve Cropper. As a guitarist, A&R man, engineer, producer, songwriting partner of Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, and a dozen others, and founding member of both Booker T. and the MG’s and The Mar-Keys, Cropper was involved in virtually every record issued by Stax from the fall of 1961 through year-end 1970. As co-writer of “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay”, “Knock On Wood”, and “In The Midnight Hour”, Cropper is in line for immortality.
Born on October 21, 1941, on a farm near Dora, Missouri, Steve Cropper moved with his family to Memphis at the age of 9. In Missouri, he had been exposed to a wealth of country music and little else. In his adopted home, his thirsty ears amply drank of the fountain of Gospel, R&B, and nascent Rock and Roll that thundered over the airwaves of both black and white Memphis radio. Bit by the music bug, Cropper acquired his first mail-order guitar at the age of 14. Personal guitar heroes include Tal Farlow, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Reed, Chet Atkins, Lowman Pauling of the Five Royales, and Billy Butler of the Bill Doggett Band. He is now partnered with Eddie Gore and Justyna Kelley at their offices at RCA Studio C in Nashville where he offers guidance and inspiration for the company.