Chips Moman, a father of the Memphis sound, has died

Famed producer and Georgia native Lincoln “Chips” Moman, who shepherded hits by Elvis Presley and was instrumental in creating the Memphis sound, has died.

Moman, 79, died Monday at a hospice facility in his hometown of LaGrange, Ga.

He was a founder of Stax Records, the Memphis record label that was the home of hits by Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas and William Bell. Stax played a key role in introducing black R&B music to a white audience.

After splitting from Stax, Moman created American Studios, which recorded 120 charted hits. The rhythm section at American Studios provided the foundation for hits by Dusty Springfield (“Son of a Preacher Man”), Neil Diamond (“Sweet Caroline), Merrilee Rush (“Angel of the Morning”) , B.J. Thomas (“Hooked on a Feeling”), Joe Tex (“I Gotcha”), Bobby Womack (“Fly Me To The Moon”) and Elvis Presley (“Suspicious Minds”).

Bob Mehr at the Memphis Commercial Appeal offered this fitting tribute to Moman.

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Atlanta music publicist Mark Pucci, of Mark Pucci Media, helped launch Moman’s short-lived Triad label in 1984, and promoted his “Class of ‘55” project in 1985 that featured Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash.

“He’s one of the titans,” said Pucci, adding that Moman’s songwriting ability was equal to his other talents. “He wrote so many of those classic songs in a lot of different genres,” including “Another Done Somebody Wrong Song” for B.J. Thomas, “Dark End of the Street” (recorded by artists from Cat Power to Linda Ronstadt), “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” for Aretha Franklin and “Luckenbach, Texas” for Waylon Jennings.

Funeral arrangements, to be handled by Striffler-Hamby Mortuary in LaGrange, were not complete as of Tuesday at mid-day, and services had not been scheduled, according to a spokesperson for the funeral home.

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