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Lincoln Wayne "Chips" Moman (born, June 12, 1937) 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 musicians. In 2014, Chips Moman was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
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 soul star Al Green and drummer Howard Grimes. Leaving Stax in 1964 after a monetary dispute with label founder Jim Stewart, he began operating his own Memphis recording studio, American Sound Studio.
At American Sound, 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, Womack, Merrilee Rush, Mark Lindsay (Paul Revere and the Raiders), Sandy Posey (notably "Single Girl"), Joe Tex, Wilson Pickett, Herbie Mann, Roy Hamilton 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.
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 co-wrote 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 recorded the first demo cut on the song "Always On My Mind". Mark James was working for him as a session musician and Wayne Carson was in the studio recording songs, Carson asking the co-writers to add a bridge to the song that Moman insisted it needed. The musicians felt the song was complete, but Chips refused to record it, unless they came up with a bridge on the studio's old piano. The two-line bridge was then added. The song was passed to Elvis via a bodyguard and, consequently, it was not recorded by the studio despite originating in it. However, Moman produced Willie Nelson's version years later
- Hardy, Phil and Laing, Dave (1995). The Da Capo Companion to 20th-Century Popular Music. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80640-1.
- Kennedy, Jackie (2010) LaGrange Daily News; Highway for the Highwayman as county honors songwriter