In the annals of Pop history - and with the possible exception of The Funk Brothers at Motown - it's doubtful that one in-house band was involved in more Hot 100 singles than The Memphis Boys (guitarist Reggie Young - Bobby Womack also functioned as a guitarist for a time as well - keyboardists Bobby Wood and Bobby Emmons, bass players Tommy Cogbill and Mike Leech, and drummer Gene Chrisman) who plied their profession at the famed American Sound Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, which was launched in 1967 by producer Lincoln Wayne "Chips" Moman and Don Crews.
The facility only existed to 1972, and yet well over 120 Hot 100 singles, not to mention some of the best albums of that era, flowed out of the studio. And the backing music on all of them came courtesy of The Memphis Boys, who were also known within the industry as The 827 Thomas Street Band, which was the studio's address. As you can see from the artists in this volume from my favourite CD outlet, Ace of London, those they backed read like a Who's Who of that era.
Nor does Ace reflect in this wonderful volume, which has their usual perfect sound, copious liner notes and discography, all the big stars who recorded there as they omit several such as Elvis Presley. His hit, In The Ghetto, made three charts, reaching # 3 Hot 100, # 8 Adult Contemporary (AC) and # 60 Country that summer. It was culled from his album Elvis In Memphis, also recorded in its entirety at the studio, and from that Ace gives you his cover of the Hank Snow hit I'm Movin' On. A few months later he had Suspicious Minds reach # 1 Hot 100 - his last # 1 - as well as # 4 AC. And before the year was out, yet another with The Memphis Boys, Don't Cry Daddy (written by Mac Davis), top out at # 3 AC, # 6 Hot 100 and # 13 Country. In early 1970, Kentucky Rain made it to # 3 AC, # 16 Hot 100 and # 31 Country. All this was, in fact, recorded over a mere 13 days, including the album Back In Memphis.
All this and more is related in the liner notes. Ace produced this volume to acknowledge the major contribution to the world of Pop music history by Roben Jones whose fascinating book Memphis Boys: The Story of American Studios (American Made Music) would make the perfect companion piece to this CD in your library. A dedicated record collector beginning in her early teens, and inspired by Mike Leech, she started on her book sometime in 2002.