Year’s end is tribute time, and last Nov., BMI, (the performing rights organization Broadcast Music Inc.) honored 77-year old guitarist, songwriter and producer Steve Cropper with their “Icon” award.
The presentation took place in Nashville as part of the 2018 BMI Country Awards; top stars performed some Cropper classics: Luke Combs, winner of the CMA’s 2018 Best New Artist Award, sang “Knock On Wood,” Maggie Rose offered up her version of “Midnight Hour,” and John Legend covered (Sittin’ on) “Dock of The Bay.”
Cropper first hit it big in 1961 with “Last Night,” an instrumental by his then group, The Mar-Keys. Later, he hit his stride, and reaped fame and fortune when he and Booker T. Jones gave birth to Booker T & the MGs, the de facto house band of Stax Records.
In his acceptance speech, Cropper acknowledged “there’s no more thrill than hearing something you did on the radio,” which may be true, but it was also a thrill to be a teenager and hear a Steve Cropper song come on the radio.