Who was/is The Mar-Keys ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
The Mar-Keys, originally known as the Royal Spades, had a Top Ten hit with their first disc, 'Last Night' (Satellite), written and arranged by Chips Moman, in 1961. Othei, smaller, hits included 'Morning After', Popeye Stroll' and, in 1966, 'Philly Dog'. All were for the Stax Company. The first of many Mar-Keys line-ups contained Packy Axton (tenor sax), Don Nix (baritone sax), Wayne Jackson (trumpet), Jerry Lee Smith (organ), Steve Cropper (guitar), Don 'Duck' Dunn (bass) and Terry Johnson (drums).
All were white boys, two of whom (Cropper and Dunn) also played in the MGs with black musicians Booker T and Al Jackson, who in turn went on to play in both groups. As staff musicians at the Stax-Volt studios, the Mar-Keys were at the centre of the Memphis soul boom of the mid-Sixties, pro-viding the accompaniment to hits by Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett et al. Axton subsequently formed the Packers ('Hole In The Wall' was a hit on Pure Soul in 1965), while Wayne Jackson, Andrew Love (tenor sax) and Floyd Newman (baritone sax) played in both the Mar-Keys and the famed sextet, the Memphis Horns.