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In Memoriam: Lewie Steinberg

Booker T. & the M.G.’s with Lewie Steinberg

Original Booker T. & the M.G.’s bassist Lewie Steinberg has passed away after a battle with cancer. He was 82 years old.

Steinberg was born in 1933 in Memphis, Tennessee. While many people associate Donald “Duck” Dunn with the M.G.’s, Steinberg was the group’s first bassist and recorded on the first two albums: Green Onions and Soul Dressing. He was a co-writer for the smash hit “Green Onions”, and had originally come up with the title “Funky Onions”, which was changed for being too out there.

“I saw Paul Shaffer at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (this year) and he talked about Lewie,” Steinberg’s niece Diane Lewis told the Commercial Appeal. “He said, ‘I want you to know that Duck Dunn always made sure everyone knew that Lewie Steinberg was the one who played on Green Onions.’”

Steinberg was with the band from 1962 to 1965 when Dunn took over. As a foundation of the group, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, inducted into the Memphis Hall of Fame, and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Lewie Steinberg.

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