Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bobby Wood Turns 70 Today

Happy Birthday Bobby Wood -- from the 'Back in Memphis' Blog:


From the site (some of the material below from Pamela Decker's article found here):

Happy Birthday Bobby Wood! We appreciate all your contributions to American music! May all your birthday wishes come true!

Bobby Wood is a session musician and songwriter most famous for his work as the Memphis Boys keyboardist. Born in a community just south of New Albany, Mississippi, Wood was one of six children in a musical family that delighted crowds as the Wood Family Gospel Group. After studying classical music through mail-order lessons, Bobby decided that genre wasn’t for him. He then mastered and went on to train others in the American folk music tradition of shape notes.

For Bobby, the organ was his forte. From years of singing with his family, he developed amazing vocal abilities. Already an accomplished musician by his late teens, he set forth on Bankhead Highway to Memphis where he became Sun Studio producer Stan Kesler’s protege.

In 1964, Bobby released a song on Joy Records “If I’m a Fool (For Loving You)” and shortly after Wood joined Reggie Young, Bobby Emmons, Tommy Cogbill, Mike Leech and Gene Chrisman to create a famous group of studio musicians who later became known as the Memphis Boys. Over the years, the Memphis Boys backed numerous artists such as Dusty Springfield, Neil Diamond, Wilson Pickett, The Box Tops, B.J. Thomas, the Sweet Inspirations, Dionne Warwick, Paul Revere and The Raiders, Merrilee Rush, Sandy Posey, Billy Swan, Joe Tex, Herbie Mann, James and Bobby Purify and many others. Of all the hit records that the Memphis Boys recorded, they will always be best known as the musicians that brought Elvis back to prominence in 1969 backing Elvis on records such as “Kentucky Rain” and “In the Ghetto” and Elvis’s biggest record of all time “Suspicious Minds”.

Bobby was inducted into The Musicians Hall of Fame in 2007 as a member of The Memphis Boys.

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