Watch Donald “Duck” Dunn as Booker T and the MGs blow minds in Norway in 1967

AUGUST 1962: (L-R) Booker T. Jones on the organ, bassist Donald 'Duck' Dunn, drummer Al Jackson and guitarist Steve Cropper of the R&B band Booker T. & The M.G.'s perform onstage in August 1962
(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Stax Records was born in Memphis in 1957. Ten years later – a decade of era-defining records from the likes of Rufus Thomas, Booker T and the MGs, Carla Thomas, Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, Albert King and more – the 1967 Stax/Volt European tour took their music across the Atlantic for the first time. 

Eddie Floyd, Arthur Conley, Sam & Dave and Otis Redding were the stars and the backing band were Booker T & the M.G.s and the Mar-Keys. They had no idea what kind of reception awaited them. “They treated us like we were the Beatles or something,” guitarist Steve Cropper said later. “It pretty much overwhelmed everyone in the band. It was a total mind-blower. Hell, we were just in Memphis cutting records; we didn’t know. Then we go over there, there were hoardes of people waiting at the airport, autograph hounds and all that sort of stuff.”

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Tom Poak has written for the Hull Daily Mail, Esquire, The Big Issue, Total Guitar, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and more. In a writing career that has spanned decades, he has interviewed Brian May, Brian Cant, and cadged a light off Brian Molko. He has stood on a glacier with Thunder, in a forest by a fjord with Ozzy and Slash, and on the roof of the Houses of Parliament with Thin Lizzy's Scott Gorham (until some nice men with guns came and told them to get down). He has drank with Shane MacGowan, mortally offended Lightning Seed Ian Broudie and been asked if he was homeless by Echo & The Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch.