Booker T & The MG’s recorded “Green Onions,” co-written with Steve Cropper, Lewie Steinberg and Al Jackson Jr., in 1962. The single earned a Grammy Hall of Fame award in 1999, and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2018. In 2012, the song was added into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.
Jones contemplated keeping his rights, but was impressed with Downtown and its abilities to promote his works as well as collect royalties worldwide. “I realized I need some specialists,” he said.
Jones’s 275-song catalog also includes “Born Under A Bad Sign,” performed by guitar great Albert King, and “I Love You More Than I Can Say,” recorded by Otis Redding.
While Jones, whose memoir will come out in 2019, is excited to see his catalog get a renewed push, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer is looking ahead to his new creations. “Downtown is interested in me as an artist. That’s fortunate,” he said. “They’re interested in exploiting and supporting what I am doing next. To be totally honest, I want to be the same kid that went into the studio and had an idea with ‘Green Onions’ and record it. I want that to continue.”
“It is a great privilege to announce this partnership with Booker T. Jones.” said Downtown CEO Justin Kalifowitz, in a statement. “It is a rare opportunity to work with someone whose storied career built the foundation of popular music and continues to inspire us with his songwriting and artistry today.”
Downtown’s catalog also includes works by The Beatles, Ryan Tedder, Benny Blanco, Hans Zimmer, One Direction and The Kinks, among others.
Jeff Biederman and Michael Rexford of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips represented Downtown in the transaction, while Lisa Alter of Alter, Kendrick & Baron represented Jones.