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Lincoln Wayne "Chips" Moman (born 1936, La Grange, Georgia) is an American record producer, guitarist and songwriter. The nickname "Chips" apparently derives from his love of gambling. As a record producer, Moman is known for recording Elvis Presley, Bobby Womack, Carla Thomas, Merrilee Rush and guiding the career of The Box Tops in Memphis during the 1960s. As a songwriter, he is responsible for standards associated with Aretha Franklin, James Carr, Waylon Jennings and B. J. Thomas. He has been a session guitarist for Franklin and other artists.

Career

After moving to Memphis, Tennessee as a teenager, Moman played in the road bands of Johnny Burnette and Gene Vincent. Settling in Los Angeles, California, he played guitar on sessions recorded at the Gold Star Studios. Back in Memphis, he began an association with Satellite Records (later Stax Records), producing their first hit single, Carla Thomas's 1960 "Gee Whiz." He also produced the first single for the Stax subsidiary label Volt, "Burnt Biscuits" b/w "Raw Dough," by the Triumphs, whose members included future Al Green and drummer Howard Grimes. Leaving Stax in 1964 after a monetary dispute with label founder Jim Stewart, he began operating his own Memphis recording studio, American Sound Studio.

There he, along with guitarists Reggie Young and Bobby Womack, bassist Tommy Cogbill, pianist and organist Bobby Emmons, and drummer Gene Chrisman, recorded the Box Tops, Womack, Merrilee Rush, Mark Lindsay (Paul Revere and the Raiders), Sandy Posey (notably "Single Girl"), Joe Tex, Wilson Pickett and Herbie Mann. Although Dusty Springfield's 1969 Dusty in Memphis album was recorded at American Sound Studios, Moman did not produce the album (that credit went jointly to Tom Dowd, Jerry Wexler and Arif Mardin).

During this time, Moman had a record label American Group (AGP), distributed by Amy-Mala-Bell.

Moman produced Elvis Presley's 1969 LP, From Elvis in Memphis which included the hit songs "In The Ghetto", "Suspicious Minds", and "Kentucky Rain". This album is considered by many as Elvis' best work.

During this period Moman co-wrote, with fellow Memphis producer and songwriter Dan Penn, "Do Right Woman Do Right Man", recorded by Aretha Franklin; and " Elkie Brooks "The Dark End of the Street", which soul singer James Carr recorded. Both songs have since become part of the repertoires of countless singers.

During the late 1960's and early 1970's Moman's studio experienced an unprecedented run of hits in the music industry, producing more than 120 charting singles by pop, soul, and country artists. On several occasions during this period, more than 20 of Billboard's Hot 100 songs had been produced at American Sound.

Moman married fellow songwriter Toni Wine in the early 1970s. He left Memphis in 1973 and briefly operated a studio in Atlanta. He then moved to Nashville, where he produced and co-wrote a hit for B. J. Thomas, " (Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" (1975). This effort earned Moman a Grammy Award. He also co-wrote "Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)" for Waylon Jennings, and produced albums by Willie Nelson, Gary Stewart, Tammy Wynette , and Ronnie Milsap. After a brief return to Memphis in the mid 1980s, during which time his attempt to open a new studio floundered, he settled in West Point, Georgia, where he operated yet another recording studio.

References

  • Hardy, Phil and Laing, Dave (1995). The Da Capo Companion to 20th-Century Popular Music. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80640-1.

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