Monday, February 23, 2009

Memphis Boy Bobby Wood To Publish Memoir

Memphis Boy keyboard player Bobby Wood has shared the news that he is working on his memoir. A firm date has not been set as of yet for its publishing, but it is expected sometime later this year as the finishing touches are presently being worked out. A background article on Bobby Wood can be found here: "From Elvis to Garth"

Among key facts not mentioned in the article on the Elvis fan website: Bobby’s work with Elvis Presley is featured on other albums – namely, January 1972’s Elvis Now (which actually featured songs from some three years earlier), as well as albums from his Stax Studios sessions in Memphis, including October 1973’s Raised On Rock (recorded July 1973) and March 1974’s Good Times (recorded December 1973).

Also, Elvis told Bobby many times that he was his favorite piano player, and he even asked him on several occasions to join him on tour. Bobby felt conflicted because of his admiration for Elvis, but he had a busy studio schedule that he felt he needed to concentrate on.

While he recalls his work with Elvis with great fondness, he is also very proud to have played on the career bests of some other notables. He worked on Willie Nelson’s “Always On My Mind” (written by Wayne Carson and American/Press Music Co. staff writers Johnny Christopher and Mark James), which was honored with Grammys for 1982’s Song of the Year and Best Country Song (and Nelson also won for Best Male Country Vocal Performance).

He played on a song that, although George Jones was initially reluctant to record, has been named the greatest Country Music song of all time – “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” Released in 1980, it was Jones' first #1 in six years and a true career triumph for "The Possum." (I have a humorous recollection of visiting The Buccaneer Lounge in Memphis in Autumn 2007 when a garage/punk band suddenly launched into the song. A rowdy audience member yelled "Shut that &^%$ up!" – only to be run out of the place by the eclectic group of Chuck Taylor-wearing devoted music purists... and among them, my daughter and me. There is nowhere else on earth like Memphis!) Bobby also worked on some of Merle Haggard’s greatest hits, including the album Pancho and Lefty and many others.

The list of albums and songs that bear Bobby Wood’s credits is just immense:

We'll be waiting for that book from Bobby – which will be highlighted with touching tributes from many of the artists and luminaries with whom he has worked... and in the meantime, we'll be hoping that he can talk the other guys into following suit in penning their memoirs as well.

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