Friday, August 31, 2012
“One of the many joys about writing for the Wall Street Journal is being given the opportunity to report in-depth on rock, pop and soul songs I love. One such song is Elvis Presley's Suspicious Minds. In today's edition of "Friday Journal" (or online here), I interview Mark James, the song's writer, and Chips Moman, the legendary producer who founded American Sound Studio, about the song's origins and evolution."
“In the late 1960s, as the landscape of rock and soul shifted underneath him, Elvis Presley's career began to sputter. Then, some headway: A TV special in December 1968 rekindled interest, and the following month Presley headed into the studio to record what would become "From Elvis in Memphis"—a rock-soul album that is still considered one of his finest. "In the Ghetto" from those sessions went to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. And 43 years ago this week, a Memphis recording that didn't make the album was released as a single. "Suspicious Minds" went to No. 1 in November 1969. It led to Presley's "comeback," albeit one that would later play out largely in Las Vegas.”
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
“Legendary producer, songwriter, guitarist, and studio owner Chips Moman took part in a special interview recently (8/18) at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Moman, who helped establish Memphis’ Stax Records and later opened the city’s American Sound Studio, played a pivotal role in creating a great number of pop, soul, and country classics. Moman produced Elvis Presley’s 1969 comeback album From Elvis in Memphis as well as sessions for Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, the Highwaymen and others. He also co-wrote “Dark End of the Street,” “Do Right Woman,” “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)” and other hit songs.”
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
One more CMHOF interview – Dan Penn interviewed in October 2010. Really great interview!
Saturday, August 18, 2012
A nice quote about the American days:
Carson traveled with Siman to Memphis and met Moman at American Sound, where a new recording console was being installed. "A room like that made you want to play music," said Carson, who recited several of the musicians working as the house band at American, including Gene Chrisman, Tommy Cogbill, Bobby Emmons, Mike Leech, Bobby Wood, and Reggie Young. "Those guys will make your day. It was amazing music. I learned nearly everything I know there."
Here's Wayne's discography from his web site:
Friday, August 17, 2012
The Memphis Boys greet Elvis fans at the Elvis Week Main Stage on August 14, 2012. Check out daily news and event coverage including video recaps, photo galleries, blogs and more at www.ElvisWeek.com.
The day’s headline attraction came a few hours later as a near-capacity crowd filed into the Main Stage pavilion. The night belonged to the Memphis Boys, the heavyweight house band of American Sound Studio in Memphis. These are the guys who provided the music for more than 100 hit songs from 1967 until the studio closed in ’72. The Memphis Boys were musical chameleons and worked magic for a variety of artists from Neil Diamond and Aretha Franklin to Wilson Pickett and Dusty Springfield. Their highest profile collaboration was, of course, with the King himself. The group recorded a total of 30 tracks with Elvis, some being his more popular cuts.
This is fabulous – the Nashville Cream interviews Chips Moman:
“Recovering from a successful hip-replacement operation, the laconic Moman spoke to the Cream from his West Georgia home turf. But if you want to hear Moman tell Elvis stories, you’ll have to make the trip to the Hall of Fame — whether it was the ghost of Elvis playing a trick on Chips, or just the phone line, the portion of the Cream’s interview that deals with Presley was completely inaudible.”
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Friday, August 10, 2012
There must be a reason, or reasons, that I’m not aware of. I don’t know why they haven’t been recognized. For a couple of years running, they played on nearly 20 percent of Billboard’s pop chart, which was a fantastic accomplishment back in those days. Remember, Motown, Stax, and the British Invasion were all happening simultaneously.
You had to be kind of versatile in the ‘60s. That’s probably why I’ve always done different genres of music, because when I first started, Top 40 radio played all the genres on one station. The Memphis Boys were one of the best bands, as far as doing any kind of genre of music. I was also in that bag, as I was just looking for any song I liked. I wasn’t looking for a certain genre.
I performed a live show with them in Memphis upon the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ death [Author’s Note: Two years later Chips and the Memphis Boys were honored by the Memphis Grammy chapter for their pioneering work on “Suspicious Minds”].
I’m glad they were finally recognized. In 2007 the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville inducted the Memphis Boys. I joined them onstage for a short set.
Former American business manager and vice president Marty Lacker has campaigned extensively to get them inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Surely, sooner or later it will happen. I hope soon. Chips and the Memphis Boys are simply the greatest guys in the world. I love 'em.
Sunday, August 05, 2012
From Terry's post at the site:
Here is a pretty poor low-res scan (from neg, not print) of that shot. Soon I will be making many original prints directly from the negatives, but all photo stuff has to wait in the queue of "so much to be done as soon as possible." (I just got a huge box of my negatives from the past back in my possession, after 24 years of being "lost".) In this photo Tom is tracking Son Of A Preacher Man. Bobby Emmons can be seen on organ through the CR window.
From the site:
"Chips walked up to me and said, “Let’s think of a song and let’s sing it with the band and see how it goes.” And that’s exactly what I did.
I always recorded my vocals live with the band. Usually we’d just start from scratch. After we chose whatever song we decided to record, we would learn it on the spot. Sometimes it might develop rather quickly; on other occasions it would take numerous takes to achieve the master. But it was always a natural progression. The entire process was fun to me.
The first time I sang with them it was like, They were my band, and I was their singer. We just fit together perfectly like hand-in-glove. I think a lot of singers can say that, because they were a great band. Chips and the Memphis Boys truly deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They were capable of doing any kind of music."