SHOF Inductee Steve Cropper Makes Smithsonian Donation

In a special ceremony on December 1 in Washington, D.C., 2005 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Steve Cropper presented four historic instruments to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Cropper donated three Fender guitars that he played with Otis Redding on “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” in the Blues Brothers movie, and on other significant recordings, and an amp Cropper used with Booker T & the MGs on their 1962 hit recording “Green Onions.” During the ceremony, he also performed some of his classics and was interviewed by the Museum’s Curator of Music, Dr. John Hasse.

As a founding member of Booker T & the MGs, the storied house band of Memphis’ Stax Records, Cropper’s signature bursts of guitar on cuts like “Green Onions” and “Time is Tight” helped define the sound of an era. He has co-written, collaborated and played alongside a host of formidable names, from Redding, Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin to Eric Clapton, the Blues Brothers and David Bowie. Cropper was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 as part of Booker T. & the MGs, and has also been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame and the Missouri Hall of Fame. Among his many accolades, he’s earned three GRAMMY Awards and a star on the Music City Walk of Fame. With a long line of accomplishments, this distinguished donation speaks to Cropper’s role as a national treasure.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame was proud to sponsor this prestigious event with BMI and the NMPA. In attendance were SHOF Board Members Robbin Ahrold, Charlie Feldman and David Israelite.

Read more about the events of the evening in this story by Sports & Entertainment Nashville

All photos by Richard Strauss