100 Greatest Guitarists: David Fricke's Picks

From Jerry Garcia and Joan Jett to B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stone critic chooses the best and most influential guitarists in rock

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Steve Cropper
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36. Steve Cropper

As a member of the stax records house band Booker T. and the MG's, Steve Cropper, a white guy from Willow Springs, Missouri, was a prime inventor of black Southern-funk guitar — trebly, chicken-peck licks fired with stinging, dynamic efficiency. If Cropper had never played on another record after 1962's "Green Onions," his stabbing-dagger lines would have ensured him a place on this list. But he also played on — and often co-wrote and arranged — many of the biggest Stax hits of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Four decades after "Green Onions," he continues to perform and record with his seminal, down-home touch.

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