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Memphis Boys: The Story Of American Studios CD

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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 Mar. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Ace Records
  • ASIN: B006WAF3ZO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,834 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. MEMPHIS SOUL STEW - King Curtis;
2. SON OF A PREACHER MAN - Dusty Springfield;
3. SHAKE A TAIL FEATHER - James & Bobby Purify;
4. THE LETTER - The Box Tops;
5. BORN A WOMAN - Sandy Posey;
6. YOU'VE GOT MY MIND MESSED UP - James Carr;
7. KEEP ON DANCING - The Gentrys;
8. NINE POUND STEEL - Joe Simon;
9. ANGEL OF THE MORNING - Merrillee Rush;
10. I'M IN LOVE - Wilson Pickett;
11. SUSPICIOUS MINDS - Mark James;
12. I'VE BEEN DOWN THAT ROAD BEFORE - B J Thomas;
13. FUNKY STREET - Arthur Conley;
14. FOR YOUR PRECIOUS LOVE - Oscar Toney Jr.;
15. SHAME ON ME - Solomon Burke;
16. THE DARK END OF THE STREET - The Glories;
17. SKINNY LEGS AND ALL - Joe Tex;
18. THE POWER OF A WOMAN - Spencer Wiggins;
19. MORE THAN I CAN STAND - Bobby Womack;
20. LET'S DO IT OVER - L.C. Cooke;
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Product Description

* To celebrate the recent publication in paperback of Roben Jones' much-lauded book on Memphis' American Studios, and in collaboration with the author, Ace presents its own stellar overview of the hits and classics that the studio created between 1965 and 1972.

* The American Studio's sound is just as much a part of Memphis' musical fabric as those of Stax and Hi (and just as recognisable). Among those who helped make that sound are guitarists Reggie Young and Bobby Womack, bass player Tommy Cogbill, keyboard men Bobby Emmons and Bobby Wood, drummer Gene Chrisman and songwriters Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, Wayne Carson Thompson and studio-founder Chips Moman - legends one and all.

* Some of the greatest worldwide hits of the 1960s and early 70s were recorded at American, and a listing of just the names of the artists who appear on our 24-track salute alone read as something of a Who's Who of pop and soul, never mind the names of those who don't.

* American Studios packed a lot into what was a relatively brief life. Here are just some of its hundreds of fabulous recordings, carefully compiled to show exactly why they are still so revered by collectors, almost 40 years after the studio shut its doors for the last time.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TCH TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 May 2012
Format: Audio CD
This CD compilation had a 3-star review from MOJO a while ago and that seems fair to me. The MOJO review complemented the 'playing' of the band which is never an overly promising sign since arguably songwriting and singing are more important to getting a song over. The playing is admittedly excellent but without the "personality" of the Stax, FAME or Muscle Shoals studios in roughly the same locale at the same time.

The are some top tracks here; "I'm In Love", "Angel Of The Morning", "Preacher Man", "Mind Messed Up", "Soul Stew" but most of these have already turned up on previous Ace/Kent CDs so in my opinion constitute unnecessary duplication since the sort of person who'll pick this CD up will likely have a fair stash of Ace/Kent CDs. However there are also a fair few duds including the contributions from Solomon Burke, Oscar Toney, Jr & Joe Tex where they largely 'talk' over a backing track; a type of song that has not aged well over the years - far better to have chosen selections where these (often superior) vocalists actually SING! Arthur Conley's 'Funky Street' whilst enthused about in the liners is a long, long way from being near his best and 'Keep On Dancing' by The Gentrys is plain mediocre with wretched sound quality and shouldn't be here despite its historical signficance (one of the 1st tracks recorded at American).

With about half the compilation consisting of duds or the over-familiar why the 3-star grade? Well because there are some superb lesser known items from the 'country soul' canon, often subsequently recorded by Elvis, including original versions of "Suspicious Minds" & "Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues".
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Coming from Chips Moman's studio you can't go wrong. Slightly diverse selection but anyone buying this should not be disappointed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Another Essential Historical Account Of American Music 22 April 2012
By AvidOldiesCollector - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
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.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Great Collection For Memphis Music Fans 7 Aug. 2012
By planetankh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Finally, some recognition for an under appreciated & rarely recognized recording studio. American Sound Studios in Memphis Tennessee pumped out tons of hit songs in their very short existence in the late 60's & early 70's. This CD is a great sampling of the rock & roll soul music (with a taste of funk & jazz) unique to Memphis music. Love Stax , Memphis Horns, the Mar Keys & Booker T & the MGs but this recording is long overdue. The Memphis Boys were a studio band to reckon with. Sound quality is very good. I love this CD. Sing, dance & smile.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Great Eclectic Collection 12 Jan. 2013
By DPH - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Until I heard about this CD on NPR, I was completely unaware of American Studios and I'm so glad I discovered this. This is a great, eclectic collection. The sound is terrific, and given the common theme of these tracks, it is wonderful to listen to and truly appreciate the incredible musical skills of the backing musicians and great production. The booklet that comes with the CD is highly detailed and a great part of the package. The tracks themselves represent a gamut of musical styles, with a significant emphasis on sixties R & B, as well as pop tunes. There are some songs that are likely familiar to anyone who ever listened to Top 40 radio - "The Letter", "Angel of the Morning" "Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues", "Son of A Preacher Man", "Keep on Dancing". While these are all great tunes that are fun to listen to again (particularly with the great care that has been taken with the musical mix here), what I particularly love about collections like these, is the opportunity to discover lesser-known musical gems. There are many such songs on this collection - for me this includes "Dark End of the Street" by The Glories, "Memphis Soul Stew" by King Curtis, and a great alternate version of "Suspicious Minds" by Mark James, who wrote the song, to name just a few. There is not a bad track on here, although given the diversity of musical styles represented, it's likely listeners will find some tracks more appealing than others, depending on their musical taste. As a whole, this is a a great collection and a great recognition of the contribution of American Studios to our musical heritage.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Memphis remembered 19 Aug. 2013
By Christopher A. Webb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
We tend to forget the masters behind the scenes of so many great songs. Nice to see someone has put them on the world stage at last with some good material.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Only for the lonely 16 Mar. 2013
By P. Sennett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love this album having grown up with Dick Clark's American Bandstand in Philadelphia. This music brings it all back
home for me so much better than the majority of sounds put out today. This music is the background to the Beatles ending
with a young Elvis Presley vocal. I only want more because it is better.
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