Steve Cropper

Induction Year: 2010

Birth Name: Stephen Lee Cropper

Birth Date: 10-21-1941

Place of Birth: Willow Springs, Missouri

One of the most influential session guitarists and R&B songwriters of our time, Steve Cropper rose to prominence in the studios of Memphis. He was a guitarist, producer, engineer and songwriter at Stax Records.

Born on a Missouri farm, Cropper and his family moved to Memphis when he was nine years old. He began playing guitar at age 14. His first successes were instrumentals he wrote for the Stax band he performed in, the Mar-Keys.

His work in the Mar-Keys, plus recording-session experience for other Memphis labels, led to him becoming the house session guitarist at Stax. Cropper was soon contributing to hits by Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Taylor, Rufus Thomas, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding. He also co-wrote a series of hit instrumentals for the Stax instrumental quartet Booker T. & the MGs, for whom he served as guitarist, with an elegant, concise style.

His biggest songwriting hits include "Knock on Wood," "In the Midnight Hour," "Dock of the Bay," "See Saw" and "634-5789." These were all pop and soul hits but were also songs frequently covered by Nashville artists.

In the 1970s and '80s, Steve Cropper recorded and toured with Levon Helm and the Blues Brothers. He moved to Nashville in 1988 and eventually founded his own recording studio and record label.

Along with the other MGs, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. The group received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. In 2008, Cropper teamed up with fellow Nashvillian Felix Cavaliere to record Nudge It Up a Notch. Nominated for a Grammy Award, the album consists of songs the two co-wrote.

His classic song "Dock of the Bay," co-written with Otis Redding, has been certified as having been broadcast more than six million times.

"(Sittin' on the) Dock of the Bay"

(written with Otis Redding)

Otis Redding1968 #1 pop, #1 R&B
Glen Campbell1968 
Percy Sledge1968 
Sam & Dave1968 
Archie Bell & the Drells1968 
King Curtis1968 #32 adult contemporary, #84 pop
The Foundations1968 
The Staple Singers1968 
Jim Ed Brown1968 
O. C. Smith1968 
The Dells1969 #42 pop
Peggy Lee1969 
Eric Andersen1969 
Joe Simon1969 
Sergio Mendes & Brazil '661969 #12 adult contemporary, #66 pop
Tom Jones1969 
Kenny Rankin1970 
Jimmy Smith1973 
T. Rex1975 
Al Jarreau1978 
Sammy Hagar1979 #65 pop
David Allan Coe1981 
Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson1982 #13 country
The Reddings1982 #15 adult contemporary, #21 R&B, #55 pop
Rod Stewart1986 
Michael Bolton1988 #11 pop, #19 adult contemporary, #58 R&B
Ted Hawkins1998 
Mike Seeger1999 
The Whoridas1999 #60 R&B
The Ohio Players2002 
Aaron Neville2006 


(written with Eddie Floyd)

Wilson Pickett1966 #1 R&B, #13 pop
Otis Redding1966 
Eddie Floyd1967 
Ry Cooder1980 
Johnny Van Zant1980 
Tina Turner1988 
John Cowan1990 
Sam & Dave1995 
Trace Adkins1996 
The Blues Brothers1997 
Carla Thomas2002 
T. Graham Brown2004 
Huey Lewis & Tower of Power2009 

"All 4 Love"

(written with Bryan Adams, Mark Calderon, Isaac Hayes, Howard Thompson, Kevin Thornton, Sam Watters)

Color Me Badd1991 #1 pop


(written with Isaac Hayes)

The Astors1965 #12 R&B, #63 pop

"Don't Fight It"

(written with Wilson Pickett)

Wilson Pickett1965 #4 R&B, #53 pop
The Sweet Inspirations1967 
Ike & Tina Turner1970 
The Elvin Bishop Group1970 
The Flying Burrito Brothers1972 

"Don't Mess with Cupid"

(written with Eddie Floyd, Willia D. Parker)

Otis Redding1968 
The Buddy Miles Express1968 
The New York Dolls1973 
Johnny Thunders1993 

"Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)"

(written with Otis Redding)

Otis Redding1966 #12 R&B, #29 pop
Lou Rawls1969 
The Commitments1991 
Esther Phillips1992 
Eddie Hinton1999 
King Curtis1967 

"Green Onions"

(written with Booker T. Jones, Lewis Steinberg, Al Jackson)

Booker T. & the MGs1962 #1 R&B, #3 pop
The Ventures1962 
Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames1963 
Henry Mancini1963 
King Curtis1967 
Ace Cannon1968 
Al Kooper & Mike Bloomfield1969 
Jan Akkerman1973 
Roy Buchanan1977 
The Blues Brothers1980 
The Count Basie Orchestra1996 
Bill Doggett2002 
Vassar Clements2004 
Al Kooper2005 
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers2009 

"Hip Hug Her"

(written with Booker T. Jones, Donald Dunn, Al Jackson)

Booker T. & the MGs1967 #6 R&B, #37 pop

"Hole in the Wall"

(written with Booker T. Jones, Al Jackson, N. Nathan)

The Packers1965 #5 R&B, #43 pop
The Bar-Kays1967 
Booker T. & the MGs1969 

"If I Had No Loot"

(written with John Bautista, Eddie Floyd, Willie Harris, O'Shea Jackson, Raphael Saadiq, Anthony Wheaton)

Tony Toni Tone1993 #7 pop, #8 R&B
Sam Moore2006 

"In the Midnight Hour"

(written with Wilson Pickett)

Wilson Pickett1965 #1 R&B, #21 pop
Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels1966 
The Righteous Brothers1966 
Mary Wells1966 
B. J. Thomas1966 
Johnny Rivers1966 
Little Mac & the Boss Sounds1966 #37 R&B, #45 pop
The Young Rascals1966 
The Chambers Brothers1967 
The Chocolate Watchband1967 
King Curtis1967 
The Mirettes1968 #18 R&B
Ace Cannon1968 
Jackie Wilson & Count Basie1968 
Archie Bell & the Drells1968 
Tom Jones1969 
The Grateful Dead1971 
Billy Preston1972 
Cross Country1973 #30 pop
The Jam1977 
Samantha Sang1979 #88 pop
Roxy Music1980 
Roger1984 #34 R&B
Echo & the Bunnymen1984 
Razzy Bailey1984 #14 country
B. B. King1985 
The Seldom Scene1991 
The Commitments1991 
Martha Reeves1992 
Delbert McClinton1994 

"Just One More Day"

(written with Otis Redding, Mac Robinson)

Otis Redding1966 #15 R&B, #85 pop
Etta James1973 
Clarence Carter1975 

"Knock on Wood"

(written with Eddie Floyd)

Eddie Floyd1966 #1 R&B, #28 pop
James & Bobby Purify1966 
The Sweet Inspirations1967 
Otis Redding & Carla Thomas1967 #8 R&B, #30 pop
King Curtis1967 
Tom Jones1968 
Buddy Guy1968 
The Foundations1968 
Tyrone Davis1969 
Ella Fitzgerald1969 
Johnny Rivers1972 
Ike & Tina Turner1974 
David Bowie1974 
Grover Washington Jr.1975 
Barrett Strong1976 
The Sir Douglas Quintet1977 
Jesse Colin Young1978 
Ami Stewart1979 #1 pop, #6 R&B
George Benson1983 
Razzy Bailey1984 #29 country
James Cotton Blues Band1984 
Eric Clapton1985 
Larry Carlton1986 
James Taylor1991 
Michael Bolton1992 
LaVern Baker1992 
Buddy Miles1997 
The Blues Brothers2002 

"Love Is a Doggone Good Thing"

(written with Eddie Floyd)

Eddie Floyd1967 #30 R&B, #97 pop

"Melting Pot"

(written with Booker T. Jones, Donald Dunn, Al Jackson)

Booker T. & the MGs1971 #21 R&B, #45 pop

"Mr. Pitiful"

(written with Otis Redding)

Otis Redding1965 #10 R&B, #41 pop
Etta James (as Miss Pitiful)1966 
Delbert McClinton1967 
Judy Clay (as Sister Pitiful)1969 
The Commitments1991 
The Sir Douglas Quintet1992 
Taj Mahal1999 

"Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won't Do)"

(written with Eddie Floyd, Wilson Pickett)

Wilson Pickett1966 #13 R&B, #53 pop
The Standells1967 
Creedence Clearwater Revival1968 
The Trammps1976 #76 R&B
Wild Cherry1976 
Dr. Feelgood1977 
John Cowan1990 
Etta James1992 

"On a Saturday Night"

(written with Eddie Floyd)

Eddie Floyd1967 #22 R&B, #92 pop
Booker T. & The MGs1967 

"Raise Your Hand"

(written with Eddie Floyd, Al Isbell)

Eddie Floyd1967 #16 R&B, #79 pop
Janis Joplin1969 
Mitch Ryder1969 
Ike & Tina Turner1973 
Bruce Springsteen1975 
The J. Geils Band1976 
Edwin McCain2008 

"See Saw"

(written with Don Covay)

Don Covay1965 #5 R&B, #44 pop
The Easybeats1968 
Aretha Franklin1969 #9 R&B, #14 pop
Delbert McClinton1979 
Tracy Nelson1980 

"Slow Train"

(written with William Bell)

The Staple Singers1968 
The Soul Stirrers1984 
Nana Mouskouri1990 
Marty Stuart2005 

"Sookie Sookie"

(written with Don Covay)

Don Covay1965 
Roy Thompson1967 #43 R&B
Etta James1974 

"Soul Dressing"

(written with Booker T. Jones, Lewis Steinberg, Al Jackson)

Booker T. & the MGs1964 #95 R&B, #95 pop
Fleetwood Mac1970 
Roy Buchanan1972 

"Soul Limbo"

(written with Booker T. Jones, Donald Dunn, Al Jackson)

Booker T. & the MGs1968 #7 R&B, #17 pop
Kim Fowley1968 

"That Girl"

(written with Gary Benson, Orville Burrell, Maxi Elliott, Al Jackson, Booker T. Jones, Robert Livingston, Lewis Steinberg)

Maxi Priest & Shaggy1996 #20 pop, #34 R&B

"The Happy Song (Dum-Dum)"

(written with Otis Redding)

Otis Redding1968 #10 R&B, #25 pop
Rita Coolidge1971 
Edwin McCain2008 

"The Hunter"

(written with Booker T. Jones, Donald Dunn, Al Jackson, Carl Wells)

Albert King1967 
Pacific Gas & Electric1968 
Ike & Tina Turner1969 #37 R&B, #93 pop
Canned Heat1969 
Paul Rodgers1993 
Paul Kossoff1977 
Jimmy Hall1996 
Gov't Mule1999 
Great White2004 

"Time Is Tight"

(written with Booker T. Jones, Donald Dunn, Al Jackson)

Booker T. & the MGs1969 #6 pop, #7 R&B
The Shadows1983 
Buckwheat Zydeco1987 
The Ventures1998 

"You Don't Know What You Mean to Me"

(written with Eddie Floyd)

Sam & Dave1968 #20 R&B, #48 pop
Eddie Floyd1968 
Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings2005 

Steve Cropper

Induction Year: 2010