Elvis producer, songwriter Chips Moman dead at 79

Chips Moman

Producer and songwrite Lincoln ‘Chips’ Moman, known for his work with Elvis Presley and Stax Records, has died at the age of 79.

He helped kickstart the second phase of Presley’s career in 1969 and produced his album From Elvis In Memphis along with hit singles In The Ghetto, Suspicious Minds and Kentucky Rain.

Grammy-winner Moman’s career also included writing credits for Aretha Franklin and James Carr, an early stint as a rockabilly guitarist and bandleader, production of first Stax hit Gee Whiz by Carla Thomas, and creator of American Sound Studio. He also assembled famed session band The Memphis Boys – Reggie Young, Bobby Woods, Bobby Emmons, Tommy Cogbill, Mike Leech and Gene Chrisman.

After a decade in which he was behind more than 120 chart-topping releases, he moved to Atlanta and then Nashville, working with Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson supergroup The Highwaymen, plus many others.

Moman’s colleague Marty Lacker tells the Commercial Appeal: “Chips was a pioneer – one of the greatest record producers, musicians and songwriters.

“One of his specialities was an artist whose career had gone cold. He rejuvenated careers.”

Nelson’s harmonica player Mickey Raphael tells Rolling Stone: “He knew players and he knew how to pick a great song, even if he didn’t write it. When he put the players together he knew what he wanted to hear, because he could do all of it.”

Moman had been in poor health for several years. He’s survived by wife Jane, daughter Monique and son Casey.

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