Friday, August 22, 2014

Glen Spreen's YouTube Channel

Glen Spreen's YouTube channel -- some good stuff here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"We went to Memphis looking for great music, barbecue and the ghost of Elvis."

Great radio shows about Memphis from the WXPN / NPR "Sense of Place" series:

American Sound Studio was a recording studio located at 827 Thomas Street in Memphis, Tennessee. More than one hundred hit songs were recorded there between its founding 1967 and its closing in 1972, The music for these hits was played by the house band "The Memphis Boys", also known as the "827 Thomas Street Band". -Wikipedia

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Settling Up With Chips: American Sound Studio Marker

From the site:

Friends of American Sound Studios and the Shelby County Historical Commission unveiled a Shelby County Historic Marker on Wednesday at the former location of American Sound Studios. Studio founder Chips Moman attended the ceremonies where Mayor A C Wharton declared August 13th to be “American Sound Studios Day.” The band that Moman led through over 100 hit records sat beside him in the parking lot of the Family Dollar store that occupies the site today. Reggie Young, Gene Chrisman, Bobby Woods, and Bobby Emmons listened to wrestling eminence Dave Brown read the text. Moman and band, along with bassists Tommy Cogbill and Mike Leech, played on hits for Elvis, Dusty Springfield, and Neil Diamond, among others. It’s hard to believe the same room of folks made “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” and “Midnight Mover.” It was way too late to save what was by all accounts not a nice building. But it’s gratifying to know that Moman and the Memphis Boys saw the city give them proper thanks and recognition. We should all be grateful to Eddie Hankins of Friends of American and Jimmy Ogle of the historical commission.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Memphis Boys triumphantly declare hit-filled legacy during Elvis Week

From the site:

Wednesday evening was a long time coming for the Memphis Boys, the band solely responsible for resurrecting Elvis Presley's recording career in the summer of 1969 with incendiary jewels including "In the Ghetto," "Suspicious Minds," "Don't Cry Daddy," and "Kentucky Rain." Mere hours after basking in the limelight of a hometown ceremony bestowing historical marker status on the location where American Studios once stood, pianist Bobby Wood, organist Bobby Emmons, drummer Gene Chrisman, and guitarist Reggie Young headed over to Graceland for a hit-packed, once-in-a-lifetime performance as fiercely independent producer Chips Moman proudly encouraged his musical comrades on from the front row.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bob Mehr's Memphis Music Beat: Dionne Warwick got ‘Soulful' on 1969 album cut in Memphis

From the site:

“I’m looking forward to coming to Memphis and am thrilled that Chips and the studio are being recognized,” Warwick said earlier in the week via e-mail. “My time there holds a multitude of wonderful memories. Mostly, it was a time when artists really worked at music, alongside the musicians who were part of a collaborative team. (American) was one of the great old-school recording studios.”

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hitmaker Chips Moman, 'Memphis Boys' recognized with historical marker

From the site:

It was a moment of recognition and validation, a celebration of old songs and friends, a chance to soak up praise and plaudits. For producer Chips Moman and the Memphis Boys, it was a day long overdue.

On Wednesday afternoon, Moman and his famed group of session musicians — a unit responsible for helping create some of the biggest and most familiar hits of the last half-century — were finally given official recognition with a Shelby County historical marker on the site where American Studios once stood. Moman also will be inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame later this year.

Now the location of a Family Dollar store, there had been little trace of the funky studio that once occupied the corner of Thomas and Chelsea. But for a decade between 1962 and 1972, American was a veritable hit factory that produced more than 120 chart records.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

American Sound Studio Historic Marker Unveiled Wednesday

 From the site:
"Suspicious Minds" was one of the biggest hits of Elvis Presley's career and it was recorded in Memphis 45 years ago at the famed American Sound Studio.

Though the recording studio has long since close many of the people who collaborated on making more than 100 hits on the Billboard charts will be honored Wednesday afternoon with a musical marker ceremony. will live stream the unveiling of the historical marker on Wednesday, Aug. 13, at 2 p.m.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Gary Talley of the Box Tops

The Box Tops

The Box Tops

From the site:

“The Letter” is of course your best known song.  How’d you come to do it?

It was our first recording session. We had a manager who was a deejay, Roy Mack, and he wanted to cut some songs on us for regional distribution or to sell at gigs. We were called the DeVilles, the Box tops was a name our manager thought of. Wayne Carson, who wrote ”The Letter”  – it says Wayne Carson Thompson on the record, but he goes by Wayne Carson – he was a writer from St. Joe, Missouri. He was in his late twenties and we were all teenagers. He had come to the studio before and wanted to get his songs demoed. He had four songs on a tape and “The Letter” was just the one we liked the best. We didn’t have a record deal, we were just doing a little demo. And Roy Mack was probably thinking if it sounds good we could release it regionally.

We were expecting [producer and American Sound Studios owner] Chips Moman to be there, but Dan Penn showed up instead and it was a good thing he did. Chips was a great producer, but Dan was just a totally unique guy. Then Larry Uttal from Bell Records came to the studio a few weeks after “The Letter” was cut. I think he came to hear something Chips had on Sandy Posey. She’d had a couple of hits and was on Bell Records. Larry Uttal heard the tape of “The Letter” and he just flipped. And all of a sudden we had a record deal. We were still playing as the DeVilles, but after the record was released we changed the name to The Box Tops when the record started going up the charts. We were just dumbfounded.