By James L. Dickerson
The Record Producer Whose Genius Changed American Music
Lincoln “Chips” Moman was known as the “Steve McQueen of the music business,” perhaps because he liked fast cars and beautiful women, and flew his own plane. But also because he had the charisma and good looks of a Frank Sinatra. You never heard much about him because he was reclusive, probably only averaging one or two interviews per decade.
One of the most successful record producers in American history, he rescued Elvis Presley’s career with hits such as “Suspicious Minds, “In the Ghetto,” and “Kentucky Rain.” He produced music icons such as Petula Clark and Dionne Warwick. In rock and pop he is associated with the Gentrys (“Keep on Dancing”), the Box Tops (“The Letter”), Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” Sandy Posey (“Born a Woman” and “Single Girl” ), Paul Revere & The Raiders (“Goin’ to Memphis”), Dusty Springfield (“Son of a Preacher Man” (not produced by Chips, but recorded in his studio with his band), Ringo Starr (an unreleased album which the author listened to and considers among Ringo’s best; the album ended up in a celebrated court case); B. J. Thomas (“Hooked on a Feeling,” “The Eyes of a New York Woman,” and “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done somebody Wrong Song.”
“I really would have loved to have worked with Chips again.”
– Petula Clark
“He’s a madman . . . but it was wonderful.”
– Dionne Warwick
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