Friday's Guitar Hero: Steve Cropper

© Brian Hineline/Retna Ltd./Corbis

What do the following songs have in common? Eddie Floyd's Knock On Wood, Wilson Pickett's In the Midnight Hour, Sam & Dave's Soul Man and Otis Redding's (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay...

Well, OK, it's a tad obvious in this scenario. They were all co-written by Steve 'The Colonel' Cropper, a guitarist whose reputation as a legendary figure had, as such, been long established by the time the classic film The Blues Brothers was released, in which he made an effective cameo clad in a "...candy-ass monkey suit..."

That said, probably his best-loved work appears on Green Onions, immortalised in 1962 by Booker T. & the M.G.s.

© Michael Ochs Archives/Corbis

Steve is second-right in this great old shot of the band, Fender Tele in hand, and, below, enjoy a Shaky-Cam clip of a more recent performance that proves once again that less is most definitely more...

Simon Bradley is a guitar and especially rock guitar expert who worked for Guitarist magazine and has in the past contributed to world-leading music and guitar titles like MusicRadar (obviously), Guitarist, Guitar World and Louder. What he doesn't know about Brian May's playing and, especially, the Red Special, isn't worth knowing.