Cropper Donating “Dock of the Bay” Tele, Others to Smithsonian

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Steve Cropper: Roland Godefroy/Wikipedia.
Steve Cropper: Roland Godefroy/Wikipedia.

Steve Cropper, guitarist for the famed Stax label, member of Booker T. & The MGs, and inductee to the Rock and Hall Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, will donate three Fender guitars and an amp from his collection to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History during a ceremony December 1. After a discussion with museum director John Gray and curator John Edward Hasse, Cropper will perform using the ’61 Esquire he calls “Doc,” along with an early-’50s Tele, a ’75 Tele, and a late-’50s Harvard that were all used on various recording sessions, as well as movie soundtracks and during live performances throughout his career.

Cropper, who was interviewed in the October ’08 and October ’11 issues of Vintage Guitar (vintageguitar.com/3658/steve-cropper/ and vintageguitar.com/9535/steve-cropper-2/), is credited with writing or co-writing more than 400 songs, including the Otis Redding hit “(Sittin’ on the) Dock of the Bay,” “Midnight Hour,” “Knock On Wood,” and others performed by a long list of artists including Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, Michael Bolton, Glen Campbell, Rod Stewart, The Staple Singers, Waylon Jennings, Aaron Neville, Eric Clapton, and David Bowie.