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VOL. 46 | NO. 11 | Friday, March 18, 2022

Staples, Milsap, Booker T. lead Memphis music hall class

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MEMPHIS (AP) — Singers Mavis Staples and Ronnie Milsap and keyboardist Booker T. Jones lead a versatile group of musicians named to this year's class of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.

The hall said it announced its newest members during a ceremony Tuesday. Established in 2012, the hall includes members of the music world with ties to Memphis, including B.B. King, Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, Tina Turner, Three 6 Mafia and Elvis Presley.

Staples was part of The Staples Singers at Stax Records in Memphis with hits like "I'll Take You There," and she later embarked on a successful solo career. Milsap was a keyboard session musician in Memphis before becoming a country music star.

Before going solo, Booker T. Jones was the front man for the influential, bi-racial group Booker T. and the MGs, which also served as the house band for Stax and had several instrumental hits, including "Green Onions."

Presley's former wife, Priscilla Presley, also was named to the hall for her work at Graceland. So were Fred Ford, a blues and jazz artist and composer; J.M. Van Eaton, drummer for Jerry Lee Lewis and others; Jim Gaines, producer and engineer for Miles Davis, Carlos Santana and others; and rockabilly musician Billy Lee Riley.

The hall is administered by the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, which was developed by the Smithsonian Institution.

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