Green Onions” by Booker T. & The MG’s was a song that has nothing to do with onions.

 Steve Cropper (later a member of The Blues Brothers) told this story at the Buddy Holly 85th Birthday Celebration in Lubbock, Texas. The instrumental was birthed in a jam session. The band members got in a groove that sounded good to most of the band. When they finished the guys in the booth asked, “What are you going to call it”?

Someone said, “You recorded that”?

“Call it onions” came a shout. “Why onions”? “Because it stinks”!

Steve thought well that stinks, too. Onions give you bad breath and bad digestion for some people. Now, green onions are good in the spring and summer, not too strong, really good in a salad. So he suggested, “What about green onions”? The name stuck.


“Green Onions” landed at the number 3 spot on the pop chart and number 1 on the R&B chart in 1962 where it remained for 4 weeks. It was recorded in Memphis at the Stax Studio and released on Stax 127

Hailing from New Jersey, The Ad Libs was one of the few groups from the ‘60s to feature a female lead singer. Calling themselves The Creators, a group of five street corner singers released their first record on the small local TK Records label. It failed to chart as did another song on the Phillips label.

The group reformed in 1964 with a new name, The Ad Libs, along with some new group members including Mary Ann Thomas as their female lead. Great group harmony combined with a boogie-woogie rhythm produced “The Boy From New York City”.

Blue Cat Records, a subsidiary of Red Bird, signed the group and released the song in December of 1964. The next year found the Ad Libs in the Top 10. It was their only entry on the charts. Although they continued to record for several years all indicators lead to them being called “One Hit Wonders”. It was a special song you can hear on

From Buddy Holly‘s hometown, DeepSky Radio is the expression of my love for oldies music. Based on the Top 40 format of the 1960’s, it also includes many songs from the Hot 100.

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