Saturday, September 22, 2012

Guitarist on Aretha Franklin’s “Think”

Tommy Cogbill played the guitar part on Aretha Franklin’s Think. Posters on the Soulful Detroit blog are discussing what a great guitar part this is – there are questions about who the guitarist was but this poster gets it right:
I checked my Aretha box set last night - it credits the guitarists on "Think" as Tommy Cogbill and Jimmy Johnson. As Phil says Jimmy is a rhythm guitarist, he's on almost everything Aretha recorded for Atlantic in 67-68 almost always with another guitarist who's presumably the lead. "Think" was recorded April 15th 1968 in a five day run of sessions (4/14 to 4/18). Jimmy Johnson's on almost every track recorded, Tommy's on three or four. So it looks as if it's definitely Tommy. Bobby Womack was not on any of the April sessions, nor was Matt Murphy who as far as I know only played on the film version of "Think". I'd say that pretty much nails it.
Jimmy is playing quarter note chords throughout the verses while Tommy is playing the lead. Technically, Tommy's part is an obbligato (defined as a persistent but subordinate motif) being played behind Aretha's magnificent vocal. It's subtle but great stuff!

Click on the arrow to listen to the audio (click again to stop):

Friday, September 21, 2012

Going Uptown?


Nice article from Preston Lauterbach (really good writer) about the history of Thomas Street – I had linked to this on another post quite a while ago but I believe the link is no longer functional:

“New residential developments sparkle on both sides of Danny Thomas Boulevard north of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Optimistic names like Metropolitan Apartments and Uptown Homes seem to promise a brighter future to these once-blighted streets.

Just north of Uptown, past Chelsea Avenue, after Danny Thomas becomes Thomas Street, the strip of black-owned and black-run barbershops, hot-wings stands, juke joints, and nightclubs looks like something out of this city's celebrated past. It's the kind of soulful authenticity that distinguishes Memphis from other places. In fact, some locals describe Thomas as the real Beale Street. “

Monday, September 10, 2012

Video of The Memphis Boys Salute Concert Now Available to Elvis Insiders


Elvis Insiders Basic and Plus members can now check out a bonus video of a special performance during Elvis Week 2012 at The Memphis Boys Salute Concert. The video features Andy Childs and Terry Mike Jeffrey along with the legendary American Sound Studio band, The Memphis Boys, performing Elvis' hit song "Suspicious Minds." Insiders also have access to exclusive interviews with Lisa Marie and Priscilla Presley, plus video of this year's surprise Elvis Insiders flash mob. Log-in to and click on the MEDIA section to watch the new videos!

The Forgotten Story Of Memphis' American Studios

NPR story about Roben Jones’ book and CD Memphis Boys: The Story of American Studios:


Memphis has been a music town since anyone can remember, and it's had places to record that music since there have been records. Some of its studios — Sun, Stax and Hi — are well-known, but American Studios produced its share of hits, and yet it remains obscure. But that's all likely to change with Memphis Boys: The Story of American Studios, both a book and a CD out now.