LINCOLN WAYNE ''CHIPS'' MOMAN
– born on June 12, 1937 in La Grange, Georgia, United
States, is an American record producer, guitarist, and songwriter. As a record producer,
Moman is known for recording Elvis Presley, Bobby Womack, Carla Thomas, and Merrilee
Rush, as well as guiding the career of the Box Tops in Memphis, Tennessee 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
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 Records in 1964 after a monetary dispute with label founder Jim Stewart, he
began operating his own Memphis recording studio, the 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, Bobby
Womack, Merrilee Rush, Mark Lindsay (Paul Revere and the Raiders), Sandy Posey (notably
"Single Girl"), Joe Tex, Wilson Pickett, Herbie Mann and Petula Clark.
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
Records (AGP), distributed by Amy-Mala-Bell.
Moman produced Elvis Presley's 1969 albums, ''From Elvis In Memphis'' and ''Back In Memphis'' which included the hit
songs "In The Ghetto". "Suspicious Minds" and "Kentucky Rain".
During this period Moman co-wrote "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" (recorded by Aretha
Franklin) with fellow Memphis producer and songwriter Dan Penn; and "The Dark End of the
Street", which became the best-known song of the soul singer James Carr.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s 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 were produced at American Sound.
Moman married fellow songwriter Toni Wine in the early 1970s. He left Memphis in 1971 and
briefly operated a studio in Atlanta. He then moved to Nashville, where he produced and cowrote
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, Ronnie Milsap and Petula Clark. After a
brief return to Memphis in the mid 1980s, during which time his attempt to open a new
studio floundered, he settled in LaGrange, Georgia, where he operated another recording
studio. Chips Moman was maybe the best producer Elvis Presley ever had.
In poor health for much of the last decade, Moman would make occasional public appearances, performing with the American Boys or at Elvis-related events.
In the summer of 2014, Moman and company were finally given some long overdue recognition in the Bluff City. A Shelby County historical marker was placed on the site where American Studios once stood. Moman was also inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame that year.
The 79-year-old Lincoln Wayne ''Chips'' Moman died on Monday, June 13, 2016, the day after his 79th birthday, in a hospice in his hometown of LaGrance, Georgia. He had been suffering from a disease of the lungs.
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