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AMA honors Booker T., Thompson

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 – Booker T. Jones and Richard Thompson will be honored by the Americana Music Association as Lifetime Achievement Award winners at the 11th Annual Honors and Awards ceremony on Sept. 12 in Nashville.

Jones is to receive the award for instrumentalist and Thompson for songwriting. They join Bonnie Raitt, who was previously announced to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance. All three artists will be present to receive the trophies and will perform during the show, with Thompson confirmed to do a showcase during the Americana Music Festival and Sept. 12-15 in Nashville.

Known just as Booker T., the multi-instrumentalist was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and honored with a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement. His early band, Booker T. and the MG's, shaped the sound of southern soul and Memphis soul as a band. Individual members (Steve Cropper, Lewie Steinberg and Al Jackson, Jr.) were part of the Stax Records house band, playing on hundreds of recordings in the '60s including those of Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and Bill Withers. Jones produced albums for Rita Coolidge and Willie Nelson's "Stardust." He also lent his trademark keyboards to many artists ranging in genre from Ray Charles to Neil Young. He still plays with Booker T. & the MGs and his own Booker T. Jones Band, and received an instrumental Grammy for his 2011 album "The Road To Memphis."

Thompson made his musical debut as one of the founders of Fairport Convention. He then went on to record more than 40 albums of his own - initially with ex-wife Linda Thompson- followed by nearly 30 years on his own. His songwriting has made an indelible mark on roots music artists as The Del McCoury Band, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Plant, Los Lobos, Elvis Costello, Blind Boys of Alabama, REM, Linda Ronstadt and Buddy & Julie Miller have recorded his songs.

"Booker and Richard's artistry and influence are part of the rich tapestry of Americana," said Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association. "We are thrilled they are coming to AmericanaFest; their contributions exemplify the broad reach of our community, from the common ground of folk rock to R&B born in Memphis."

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