“Chips” Moman dies aged 79

The Memphis songwriter, producer worked with Elvis, Dusty, Aretha and many more

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Lincoln “Chips” Moman, the songwriter, producer and studio owner responsible for countless hits that came out of Memphis in the 1960s, has died aged 79.

According to a report on Memphis, TN news site The Commercial Appeal, Moman died at a hospice facility in his hometown of LaGrange, Georgia on Monday [June 13]. The news of his death was confirmed by Memphis Mafia member, Marty Lacker.

Born in 1937, Moman was discovered when he was 17 by Sun Records artist Warren Smith. Moman went on to become one of the architects of Stax Records, recording the label’s early hits by Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas and William Bell.

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He split with Stax in 1962, and set up Memphis’ American Sound Studios.

Between 1962 and 1972, American Sound Studios produced more than 120 chart records. Under Moman’s guidance, the studio house band — guitarist Reggie Young, drummer Gene Chrisman, pianist Bobby Wood, organist Bobby Emmons and bassists Mike Leech and Tommy Cogbill — worked on hits for Dusty Springfield (“Son Of A Preacher Man”), Neil Diamond (“Sweet Caroline), Bobby Womack (“Fly Me To The Moon”) among many others.

Elvis Presley recorded “Suspicious Minds”, “Kentucky Rain” and the From Elvis in Memphis album at American Sound Studios with Moman.

Moman also co-wrote (with Dan Penn) Aretha Franklin’s “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” and James Carr’s “Dark End of the Street”.

After American Sound Studios closed, Moman relocated to Nashville and became a songwriter and producer. Among his credits, he produced the Highwayman, the supergroup comprised of Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson.

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