Memphis Tennessee during the late 1960's and early 1970's was a major recording center in the United States. After the early successes of Sun Records in the late 1950's, several other labels became highly successful in the Bluff City during the next decade. The history of labels such as STAX Records, Hi Records and Goldwax are well documented, however another equally prominent studio churned out hit after hit, but to this day is not that well known.
American Recording Studio founded in 1964 by Chips Moman and Don Crews, went on to produce over 122 chart records and in excess of 40 gold records during its lifespan. Surprisingly though, most of this was not for themselves, but for major labels who hired the studio for its team of producers, musicians, writers and arrangers. While Memphis was well known for being a blues and soul music town, American was different because it excelled in the production of multiple styles of music, including Garage Rock, R&B, Pop, Rock, Jazz and Country.
A small sampling of the artists and the hits recorded at American include: Elvis Presley (Suspicious Minds, In the Ghetto, Kentucky Rain), Neil Diamond (Sweet Caroline, Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show, Holy Holy), B.J. Thomas (Hooked on a Feeling, The Eyes of a New York Woman), The Box Tops (The Letter, Cry Like a Baby, Soul Deep), Merrilee Rush (Angel of the Morning), Dusty Springfield (Son of a Preacher Man), Herbie Mann (Memphis Underground), Danny O'Keefe (Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues), Cymarron (Rings) and many more than can be listed here.
Sadly, American closed in 1972, but the magic of those years carried over to the later careers of many of those who were involved. Some of the producers such as Chips Moman and Tommy Cogbill went on to continued success in Nashville, and the studio band (The Memphis Boys) became mainstays in the Nashville studio scene. Spooner Oldham, a writer and musician at American is already recognized by the hall in the "Sideman" category.
In order to properly honor the memory and legacy of American Recording Studio, we are seeking the assistance of music fans worldwide in a signature petition that will be submitted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame later this year. This will be a unique petition because it is an attempt to recognize the accomplishments of the "entity" that was American Studio (in the non-performer category), in much the same way you would view an individual who facilitated a hall of fame-worthy contribution to the music industry.
Please sign our petition and assist us in celebrating the history of American Recording Studio, once described as "The Hottest Studio in America" by James Kingsley (a writer for Memphis's Commerical Appeal and Billboard Magazine Correspondant for Memphis) once restored Elvis "The King" to his place of honor among Rock and Roll's royalty.
After reading the petition, please take a minute to view the links to associated websites. They include rarely seen photographs, unique articles, an opportunity to purchase a book and CD, and lively discussion about the legacy of American Studio.
We are grateful for every signature. Please be aware that there may be a solitication for a donation from the ipetitions.com website. It is not requirement in order to sign though. Also, the site requires a name rather than just an "anonymous" signature. Please keep these in mind if you decide to sign. We hope to be able to report back in a few months of a successful campaign. Thank You.
Clarence Nash, Erick Crews, Phillip Rauls and many others from the American Sound (Recording) Studio Group.
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American Recording (Sound) Studio - Memphis, Tennessee (1964-1972):
Phillip Rauls Photoblog
American Studio on Wikipedia:
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