Chips Moman RIP
Chips Moman, a true giant among record producers and a pioneer and one of the most influential figures in the field of southern soul, has died aged 79. He had a unique ability to create hit records in soul, pop and country and is credited with having 120 hits while at American Studios in Memphis.
He fell out with Stax over money, (he was a serious gambler, hence his nickname Chips), although he
By this time Moman's house band, the Memphis Boys (also known as the 827 Thomas Street Band, after American's street address), drummer Gene Chrisman, bassists Tommy Cogbill and Mike Leech, guitarist Reggie Young and keyboardists Bobby Emmons and Bobby Wood, had taken shape. Bobby Womack also played on some early records there. Chips was about to go from strength to strength as major labels chose his studio for their recordings, including Atlantic, RCA, Uni, Warner Brothers, Decca, Scepter and MGM.
Among the artists who found success there were King Curtis, Dionne Warwick, Sandy Posey (a former secretary at American), Lulu, Dusty Springfield, Joe Tex, Bobby Womack, Merrilee Rush, Neil Diamond, Herbie Mann, the Sweet Inspirations and Wilson Pickett, but perhaps the biggest success was the resurrection of Elvis's career with Elvis in Memphis and songs like Suspicious Minds, In The Ghetto and Kentucky Rain.
By the beginning of the seventies the music scene in Memphis was in decline and Chips moved to Atlanta, and then to Nashville, where he concentrated on country music. He had success with B J Thomas and co-wrote Luckenbach, Texas, a hit for Waylon Jennings. He also produced and played on albums by Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson , Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins. In 1985 he returned to Memphis in an attempt to revive the local music scene, but it was unsuccessful and he moved back to his native LaGrange, Georgia, where he died. RIP to one of the greats.
A final word too, for Bobby Curtola, a Canadian who had considerable success in his home country