Memphis Boys: The Story of American Studios
Author: Roben Jones
Publication date: 2010
American Made Music Series
University Press of Mississippi
Memphis Boys 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, author Roben Jones 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 the Gentrys, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, the Box Tops, Joe Tex, Neil Diamond, B. J. Thomas, Dionne Warwick, and many others come alive in this book. Jones 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, Memphis Boys details a significant phase of American music and the impact of one studio.
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