Memphis BoysThe Story of American Studios

Memphis BoysThe Story of American Studios

Roben Jones

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9781604734010

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Abstract

This book chronicles the story of the rhythm section at Chips Moman’s American Studios from 1964, when the group began working together, until 1972, when Moman shut down the studio and moved the entire operation to Atlanta. Utilizing extensive interviews with Moman and the group, as well as additional comments from the songwriters, sound engineers, and office staff, the author creates a collective biography combined with a business history and a critical analysis of important recordings. She reveals how the personalities of the core group meshed, how they regarded newcomers, and how their personal and musical philosophies blended with Moman’s vision to create timeless music based on themes of suffering and sorrow. Recording sessions with Elvis Presley, the Gentrys, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, the Box Tops, Joe Tex, Neil Diamond, B. J. Thomas, Dionne Warwick, and many others come alive in the book. The author provides the stories behind memorable songs composed by group writers, such as “The Letter,” “Dark End of the Street,” “Do Right Woman,” “Breakfast in Bed,” and “You Were Always on My Mind.” Featuring photographs, personal profiles, and a suggested listening section, the book details a significant phase of American music and the impact of one studio.