June 12: The Late Great Chips Moman was born in 1937

Chips Moman, now semi-retired and living in LaGrange, Ga., still writes songs occasionally. “I write ’em,” he says, “but I just leave ’em laying there.” (- The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, 2008)

Lincoln Wayne “Chips” Moman (June 12, 1937 – June 13, 2016) was an American record producer, guitarist, and Grammy Award-winning songwriter.

One of the most important characters in the Memphis music scene in the 60’s. Chips Moman helped start Stax Records, then American Sound Studios, which cut 122 chart hits from 1967 to 1972 — an unparalleled achievement.

In the 1960s, Moman worked for Stax Records before founding the American Sound Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, and later worked extensively in Nashville. As a record producer, Moman was known for recording Elvis Presley, Bobby Womack, Carla Thomas, and Merrilee Rush, as well as guiding the career of the Box Tops. As a songwriter, he was responsible for standards associated with Aretha Franklin, James Carr, Waylon Jennings, and B. J. Thomas, including the Grammy-winning “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song“. He was also a session guitarist for Franklin and other musicians.



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January 5: The late great Sam Phillips was born in 1923

Sam Phillips, the founder of the label Sun Records, poses with Elvis Presley.

Sam Phillips was not just one of the most important producers in rock history. There’s a good argument to be made that he was also one of the most important figures in 20th century American culture.
~Richie Unterberger (allmusic.com)

Please check out the new book:

Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll
Written by Peter Guralnick

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Rock ‘n’ roll was born in rural Alabama, 1923, in the form of Sam Phillips, the youngest son of a large family living in a remote colony called the Lovelace Community. His father had a gift for farming, which was brought to an end by the Depression. His mother picked guitar and showed the kind of forbearance that allowed her to name her son after the doctor who delivered him drunk and then had to be put to bed himself. And yet from these unprepossessing origins, in 1951 Phillips made what is widely considered to be the first rock ‘n’ roll record, Ike Turner and Jackie Brenston’s ‘Rocket 88’.

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December 20: The late Pat Hare was born in 1930

If highly distorted guitar played with a ton of aggression and just barely suppressed violence is your idea of great blues, then Pat Hare’s your man.
~Cub Koda (allmusic.com)

….Auburn “Pat” Hare, the most aggressive picker to work at Phillips’ studio [Sun Studions that is]. Together, Hare and James Cotton produced one of the truly great blues recordings, “Cotton Crop Blues.”
~From the book: “Good Rockin’ Tonight: Sun Records and the Birth of Rock ‘N’ Roll

James Cotton (Pat Hare on guitar) – Cotton Crop Blues (May 1954):

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December 19: Carl Perkins recorded Blue Suede Shoes in 1955

“Blue Suede Shoes” is a rock and roll standard written and first recorded by Carl Perkins in 1955 and is considered one of the first rockabilly (rock and roll) records and incorporated elements of blues, country and pop music of the time. Perkins’ original version of the song was on the Cashbox Best Selling Singles list for 16 weeks, and spent 2 weeks in the No. 2 position.

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December 15: Johnny Cash released the single, Folsom prison blues in 1955

sun-johnnycash

Folsom Prison Blues is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Johnny Cash. The song combines elements from two popular folk genres, the train song and the prison song, both of which Cash would continue to use for the rest of his career. It became one of Cash’s signature songs. It was the eleventh track on his debut album With His Hot and Blue Guitar but was also included (same version) on All Aboard the Blue Train. Folsom Prison Blues was in the country Top Five in 1956, though Cash had written it while in the Air Force somewhere before 1954.

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Scotty Moore died yesterday (June 28, 2016) – R.I.P.

Scotty Moore

“When I heard Heartbreak Hotel, I knew what I wanted to do in life. It was as plain as day. All I wanted to do in the world was to be able to play and sound like that. Everyone else wanted to be Elvis, I wanted to be Scotty.”
… Keith Richards

Scotty Moore died yesterday at the age of 84.

Winfield Scott “Scotty” Moore III (December 27, 1931 – June 28, 2016) was an American guitarist and recording engineer. He is best known for his backing of Elvis Presley in the first part of his career, between 1954 and the beginning of Elvis’s Hollywood years. He was ranked 29th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in 2011. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2015.

One of THE greatest rock’n roll guitarists of all time!

Eric Clapton & Scotty Moore – Mystery Train:

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