Saturday, August 10, 2013

More thunder on the piano: Ronnie Milsap relives Memphis days with Elvis Presley (Video)

More thunder on the piano Ronnie Milsap relives Memphis days with Elvis Presley_2013-08-10_11-56-37

From the site:

How did you come to play piano and sing harmonies on Elvis’ legendary 1969 sessions at American Sound Studios in Memphis?

Well, I was living in Atlanta when I had my first mini hit in 1965, a Top 20 R&B ballad written by Ashford & Simpson called “Never Had It So Good.” Incidentally, it was my first record for Scepter Records, and audiences seeing me open for Sam & Dave and James Brown were probably shocked to discover that I was white [laughs].

Two years later Scepter asked me to record my next single at American with producer Chips Moman and the Memphis Boys [Gene Chrisman/drums, Reggie Young/guitar, Tommy Cogbill and Mike Leech/bass, Bobby Emmons/organ, and Bobby Wood/piano]. I thought it was a great idea, and that session helped me get my foot in the door.

I soon got a residency at the prestigious Playboy Club in Atlanta, where I was working an unbelievable six hours a night, six nights a week. Anyway, Chips showed up one night. He was pleased with our previous session and urged me to move to Memphis.

He told me that he would get me session work at American, introduce me to music industry bigwigs, produce my next hit, and land me a job at T.J.’s, a very busy nightclub owned by Jewish businessman Herbie O’Mell. Everything came true except for the hit record. Tommy Cogbill, who I admired very much, also talked to me, and I was finally convinced to make the move in November 1968 with my wife, Joyce.

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