Mr. Big Stuff

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"Mr. Big Stuff"
Mr. Big Stuff - Jean Knight.jpg
Single by Jean Knight
from the album Mr. Big Stuff
B-side"Why I Keep Living These Memories"
ReleasedMay 1971
GenreFunk, soul
LabelStax STX 1014
Songwriter(s)Joseph Broussard
Carrol Washington
Ralph George Williams
Producer(s)Wardell Quezergue
Jean Knight singles chronology
"Mr. Big Stuff"
"You Think You're Hot"

"Mr. Big Stuff" is a song by American singer Jean Knight. The song was recorded in 1970 at Malaco Studio in Jackson, Mississippi at the same session as "Groove Me" by King Floyd. Knight's single was released by Stax Records because of the persistence of Stax publisher Tim Whitsett, and "Groove Me" by King Floyd, which Whitsett strongly urged Malaco to release, also became a hit. Both songs are defined by two bar, off-beat bass lines and tight arrangements by Wardell Quezergue.[1]

Released on Knight's 1971 debut album of the same title, it became a huge crossover hit. The song spent five weeks at no. 1 on the Billboard Soul Singles chart and peaked at no. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, behind "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" by The Bee Gees.[2] Billboard ranked it as the No. 18 song for 1971. The song went double platinum and the no. 1 Soul Single of the year.[3]

Knight performed the song on Soul Train on December 11, 1971 during its first season.[4] "Mr. Big Stuff" became one of Stax Records' more popular and recognizable hits. It was featured in the 2007 mini-series The Bronx Is Burning. It was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 1972 Grammy Awards.

Chart performance[edit]


No credits are listed for the Malaco studio musicians on the record. According to Rob Bowman's liner notes from the 1999 box set The Last Soul Company: Malaco, A Thirty Year Retrospective, the musicians for this session included:

During this time at Malaco, horn lines were typically played by saxophonist Hugh Garraway and trumpeter Perry Lomax.[1]

Cover versions[edit]

  • American all-female heavy metal band Precious Metal released a cover of the song from their self-titled 1990 album. Donald Trump, businessman and future president of the United States, originally made an appearance in the music video for the band's cover. However, Trump wanted a $250,000 payment instead of the agreed-upon $10,000 appearance fee. After the band refused to pay for his appearance, Trump was replaced in the final version of the music video.[10][11]



  1. ^ a b Bowman, Rob (1999). "Malaco Records: The Last Soul Company" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 331.
  3. ^ a b Nielsen Business Media, Inc (1971-12-25). Billboard. p. 15. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  4. ^ (December 11, 1971). "Soul Train - Season 1, Episode 11: Jean Knight/ The Delfonics/ Maurice Jackson/ Ralphi Pagan". Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  5. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  6. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 7/31/71". 7 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  8. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1971/Top 100 Songs of 1971". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  9. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1971". 29 October 2014.
  10. ^ "'A Trump Kind of Donation': Tycoon Makes, Then Breaks, Heavy-Metal Video". Associated Press. February 7, 1991. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  11. ^ Turman, Katherine (March 30, 2016). "The Real Story Behind Donald Trump's Aborted 1991 Metal Video Appearance". Billboard. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  12. ^ "D2: The Mighty Ducks - Original Soundtrack" AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-11-03.
  13. ^ "Various - Hot Funky & Sweaty "The Sound Of Heavy Soul & Funk Today" at Discogs". Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  14. ^ "'SNL' host Louis CK's monologue tackles the big stuff". Los Angeles Times. March 30, 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  15. ^ "John Holt With Tommy McCook All Stars* / Tommy McCook All Stars* - Sister Big Stuff / Black, River".
  16. ^ "Prince Buster - Sister Big Stuff".
  17. ^ "Mashup Breakdown - Girl Talk - All Day". 23 November 2010.

External links[edit]