Al Jackson, Jr. was born in Memphis in 1934. The groove-master began drumming with his father’s ’40s-style big band at the age of five. Al Jackson, Jr spent many late nights at the Manhattan Club playing with Willie Mitchell, who as a producer at Hi Recording Studios, worked with Jackson on several hits by Al Green, Ann Peebles, and many others.
After playing with Willie Mitchell's band, Jackson was recruited by Booker T. Jones in 1962 to play his first session at Stax. Algonside keyboardist Booker T. Jones, bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn, and guitarist Steve Cropper, Jackson formed the the Stax house band, better known as Booker T. & The MGs.
Al Jackson's signature feel and deceptively straightforward style graced everyone from Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, Wilson Pickett and Eddie Floyd to instrumental hits like the MGs’ “Green Onions.”
When Booker T. moved to California in 1971, the MGs went their separate ways, but Al Jackson’s calendar was soon filled with the likes of Freddie King, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Rod Stewart, and the notable sessions for Elvis Presley’s 1973 album "Raised On Rock".
Al Jackson's style was powerful, groove-oriented and deceptively simple. Many have imitated his playing but few have captured its strength and feel. For the better part of a decade he came to work everyday cranking out solid, creative grooves. His drumming became easily recognizable and an integral part of '60s and '70s soul.
On October 1, 1975, at the age of 39, the drummer was tragically murdered at his home.