Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Booker T. Jones will be releasing his long-awaited memoir next fall. The leader of the Stax Records house band and Memphis soul legend’s as-yet-untitled tome is projected for release this fall via Little, Brown and Company. An audiobook version will be available simultaneously through the publisher’s Hachette Audio.
The memoir will explore Jones’ half-century in music and his artistic process, chronicling both his personal journey as well as career hallmarks. It will traverse his early years in the segregated South and examine the music industry pitfalls he experienced along with him revisiting the nightclubs of his youth. It will also trace his successes with Booker T. & the M.G.’s., delve into Stax Records and discuss his group’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
“Had I known in third grade when I started playing my clarinet that one day I would be playing with the likes of B.B. King, Otis Redding, or Bob Dylan, I might have been too paralyzed to continue my journey,” Jones said in a statement. “But in life, you do things one moment at a time. That’s what I want to share with readers—how each step of my winding, rocky road has led me to where I am today.”
The book will also offer a behind-the-scenes look at the music history he helped shape, such as discussing the writing of Booker T. & the M.G.’s “Green Onions” while he was still a high school student, to talking about the recording of Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay” and detailing collaborations with Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, Neil Young, Carlos Santana and Willie Nelson.
Last year, Jones told Rolling Stone why he was inspired to write a memoir, recalling that he feels just excited about making music as when he was a teenager. “I think of musicians as a brotherhood with a purpose, and our purpose is being realized right now, so if I have anything to say it’s about that: what music means to people, what we can give people with our work, whether they use it for pleasure or for spiritual events, weddings, or just living day-to-day,” he said. “It’s about connecting to each other, understanding each other. I think you’re not ever completely alone out here if you’re connecting through music or art.”