Suddenly, Elvis had to be taken seriously because, suddenly, Elvis was taking the music seriously again. He was expressing his soul, which was plenty deep.
In The Ghetto:
From Elvis in Memphis is the ninth studio album by American rock and roll singer Elvis Presley, released on RCA Victor. The recording took place at American Sound Studio in Memphis in January and February 1969 under the direction of producer Chips Moman and with the backing of the house band, informally known as “The Memphis Boys”. A direct consequence of the success of Presley’s 1968 Christmas television special and its soundtrack, the recording marked the definite return of Presley to non-soundtrack albums after the completion of his movie contract with Paramount Pictures.
Sure, I’ve always dug Steve Cropper… his guitar playing. Ever since the first Booker T. record. I heard that back in the Midwest. Yeah, everybody was playing like him.
~Bob Dylan (to Jann Wenner, 29 Nov. 1969)
Memphis is in a very lucky position on the map. Everything just gravitated to Memphis for years.
.. a workmanlike singer and a very accomplished songwriter, who showed occasional flashes of brilliance.
~The Rough Guide to Soul and R&B
“…I’d had nothing directly to do with Motown while I’d been in Detroit, I’d still been around a lotta their artists and seen from a distance how they did things. And so, when I eventually got to Memphis, I could see that it was pretty much the SAME – you know, musicians getting together producing music, with everybody in the same groove… So yeah, working at Stax was very easy, because everybody was open-minded. You know, Al and I first met (legendary MGs guitarist) Steve Cropper at the same time we met Jim Stewart. So what would happen is, Cropper and I would more or less go off to the hotel, sit down and talk about music – and BOOM, almost immediately we’d WRITE something! While Al Bell and Jim Stewart would go off and talk about music and BUSINESS… So yeah, that’s the way it started – and it just moved on from THERE! I later went on to write with Booker T., which was great too. You know, Stax was all about TEAM-work. Like if an artist was recording and needing backing singers, I’d go and sing on THEIR record, and in turn they’d sing on MINE! That’s just the way we DID things.”
– Eddie Floyd (Blues&Soul.com, issue 1067)
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.