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Memphis Boys: The Story of American Studios (American Made Music Series) Paperback – November 1, 2011
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I was very happy with this book. The author really tried to get in there and tried to understand their different personalities. I think she did a superb job.
1) A birds-eye view of the sessions. I often have to remind myself that most of these sessions took place more than 40 years ago. Even those who were there have sketchy memories of what happened. Roben has done a great job of conducting extensive interviews with a wide range of participants to give us a real sense of 'you-are-there.'
2) A better appreciation of how songwriters contributed to the success of American Studios. We now know more about the roles of writers like Wayne Carson, Dan Penn, and Spooner Oldham (and many others) as musicians, producers, and engineers.
3) Wider recognition of Tommy Cogbill as innovator and leader. Although the recordings speak for themselves, Roben's interviews with session mates underscore how highly regarded Tommy was as musician, friend, and mentor.
4) Acknowledgment of the Memphis Boys as music industry pros. It's great to read about how much admiration and respect colleagues had for their work.
I have only scratched the surface here, but I strongly encourage you to buy this book! You won't regret it!
It would be great if Rhino records issued a box set of the greatest hits of the American studios.
On the other hand, the sections on BJ Thomas, Neil Diamond and the Elvis in Memphis sessions are riveting.
Read it, enjoy it, marvel at the musical accomplishments, and skip over page after page of obscure recordings, dissected.
It is fun to read, very human, and you actually learn things.
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