American sound recording Studios

February 28, 2017
American Sound Recording
After selling out in 1972, Moman moved to Nashville, where he dominated the country field - writing and producing. By the late 1990s he moved back to Georgia where he now resides in semi-retirement.

Click on small photos for an enlargement

< == The American Sound Studio ==>

Chips Moman and Don Crews purchased a studio annex in 1968 to handle the overflow. This annex had originally been run by Dale Bowman and Gill Caples. Some say the annex was designed for Elvis because it featured an outside facade of Hawaiian volcanic rock. One recording room was very close in design to RCA Studio B, where Elvis had recorded everything after "Heartbreak Hotel".

American Studios East - Onyx

Don Crews assumed ownership of Onyx (now called American East) in 1972 after the partnership split with Moman. He helped launch the career of T.G. Sheppard from here, including the hits "Devil in the Bottle", and "Trying to Beat the Morning Home". Elvis never did record there. American East later became Easley-McCain Studios (1990s-2005) where many great Indie Rock albums were cut. It was damaged by fire in 2005, but has now been renovated and re-opened as American Recording Studio by David Gicking and Brad Dunn. Today Don Crews lives in Arkansas.

Don Crews

Some of the artists who recorded at American...
Dusty Springfield

Neil Diamond

Elvis

Joe Tex

B. J. Thomas

The Gentrys

Danny O'Keefe

Merrilee Rush

Wilson Pickett

Roy Hamilton

The Memphis Boys ...

The music for American Sound Studio was played by the house band "The Memphis Boys", also known as the "827 Thomas Street Band". This band recorded 122 top 10 records using the same rhythm team. The band was composed of Drummer Gene Chrisman, bassists Tommy Cogbill and Mike Leath, guitarist Reggie Young and keyboardists Bobby Emmons and Bobby Wood. They brought true versatility to the studio. The band has recently recorded "Memphis Boys - The Story of American Studios" which details the history of this unsung recording studio and its lasting impact on rhythm and blues.

Memphis Boys Chips Moman-Memphis Boys Chips Moman - Memphis Boys
A key point in Elvis' career ...

In 1969, Elvis Presley recorded his last number one hit "Suspicious Minds" with producer/engineer Chips Moman, when American Studios was at the top of their game. This was a key turning point in Elvis' career and gave him his first top ten hit in four years, "In the Ghetto". There is still no sign or marker to note the site where these landmark sessions took place.

Elvis and Chips Elvis and Band Elvis -Backup Singers Elvis - Roy Hamilton
Photos and Memorabilia of American and Onyx Studios ... .
B. J. Thomas Petula Clark - Chips Aretha Franklin - Band Dusty Springfield

December 20, 2012: Sincere thanks to Erick Crews, son of Don Crews for correcting some errors and for generally helping with updates to this page.

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