Iconic country music producer, songwriter and guitarist Lincoln “Chips” Moman died on Monday, June 13 at the age of 79.
Moman was the genius behind the Memphis sound in the 1960’s. He helped build Stax Records in the 50s, and later built Memphis American Sound Studios, hit-churning machine. In 1969, Morman became Elvis Presley’s producer, reviving the iconic singer’s creativity.
He was also a prolific songwriter whose hits included a few country classics. His credits include “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong,” and Willie and Waylon’s seminal hit “Luckenbach, Texas.” Moman recorded the first demo of “Always on My Mind.” He also produced country supergroup The Highwaymen, which featured Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson.
Born in LaGrange, Georgia, on June 12, 1937, Moman hitchhiked to Memphis at age 17 in search music career. He was got his start as a guitarist for Johnny and Dorsey Burnette, with whom he worked with in notable California recording studios. There he learned the tricks of the recording business, which took back to Memphis.
Moman would go on to create one of the most prolific recording studios in American history. His Memphis American Sound Studios produced more than 120 hit records from 1962-1972. An essential part of the studio’s success was its house band, which Moman fostered and guided. That group laid down the foundation on several iconic hits, including Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds,” Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man,” Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” and many more.
He died on Monday in a hospice care facility in his hometown of LaGrange. Moman is survived by his wife Jane, daughter Monique and son Casey.