The seeds of the Memphis soul sound were planted in 1961 when members of an all-white R&B band called the Mar-Keys got together with several black musicians to cut "Last Night." The catchy blues instrumental proved ideally suited to dancing the twist and became a national pop and R&B smash. Unavailable in North America for nearly forty years, the Mar-Keys' first two albums once again see the light of day with this reissue, which sports fascinating, richly researched notes by Stax historian Rob Bowman. Mar-Keys charter member Steve Cropper contributes his signature guitar licks to most selections, while studio organist Booker T. Jones is featured on the second half of the program, conceived with the pop-eye dance craze in mind. The twist and pop-eye may have passed from fashion long ago, but the Mar-Keys' music retains a timeless quality.
Charles "Packy" Axton, Gilbert Caple, Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Curtis Green, Howard Grimes, Wayne Jackson, Booker T. Jones, Floyd Newman, Jerry "Smoochy" Smith, Lewie Steinberg, Marvell Thomas