Sunday, November 30, 2014

American Studios: Memphis' Hit Factory

From the site:

Memphis is a tough crowd. It's a rare thing for a band to roll into town and knock a crowd's socks off. Memphians have seen it all.  But St. Paul and the Broken Bones aren't just any band. Listen to them set the city on fire in an electrifying set that you won't want to miss on Beale Street Caravan this week. Also on the program, BSC contributor Eddie Hankins checks in with us and continues his insightful series, American Studios: Memphis' Hit Factory.

Elvis' 1969 Memphis Renaissance

From the site:

“While Colonel Parker arranged his Vegas resurrection, Elvis went back into the recording studio determined to again produce quality records and catapult himself out of both his banal movies and the bland music that had stifled him for years. And he turned away from RCA’s Nashville studio and toward his home town, Memphis, where he had broken musical barriers at Sun Records fifteen years earlier. He cast his eye on the small American Sound Studio run by producer Chips Moman, which had been turning out hits for various labels and had access to top musicians and songwriters. It was all too alluring for Elvis to pass up and offered just what he wanted—a break from his past and a return to his roots. Elvis began a ten-day session with Moman at American on January 13, 1969, with the buzz over what was quickly being called the ‘Comeback’ TV special still very much in the air. Elvis was determined to make good his vow to Steve Binder to take the reins of his career.

Ronnie Milsap Reflects on Ray Charles, Elvis and Entering the Country Hall of Fame

From the site:

You ended up in Memphis, working a lot with producer Chips Moman at American Studios. What do you remember about being in the studio with Elvis?
I got to play on the session with Elvis on "Kentucky Rain." "More thunder on the piano, Milsap," he said. I got to learn what hanging out with Elvis was all about. His big New Year's Eve party, I got to sit and talk with him like I'm talking with you. It was just great. He was the voice of my generation. I had a million questions to ask him, but he wanted to talk about that session of "Kentucky Rain," so we talked about that. I asked him, "Would you like to get up and sing tonight at this New Year's Eve party?" He said, "No, I want to sit here with my friends and not have to worry about singing." I said, "Well, we know all your songs." He knew we did, but he didn't want to get up and sing and that was fine. It was his party.