The New Release of Low Society ! 2014 recorded at American Recording Studio featuring Mandy & Sturgis Nikides , it is on the 10th anniversary of Icehouse records . The Phillips family and Selecto - Hits have continued the long tradition of keeping incredible music going and invigorating the Memphis music scene. Look for this record in September. I have to say whether you see this band live or in the studio , the band will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck . Mandy and Sturgis have that "it" factor that you don't see much anymore . Johnny Phillips is also relasing Mule- Man produced by legandary Don Nix & Larry Nix , Stax Alumni . The record was done @ Ardent studios . I am sure many more releases are to follow.
Thank you Joe ,
I think you wrote a great article on The Easley-McCain era . It is a part of history that should not be forgotten . I thought it would be helpful to fill in some of the past history. The studio does have some past wonderful history . I just wanted help readers understand a little better about the past . Chips Momen is being inducted in the new Memphis Music Hall of fame and it is a shame that he has had to wait so long to get this award for everthing he brought to Memphis Music. I think Doug & Davis would agree . Again thank you for writing a article that was well deserved . It would be great to talk with you again Joe.
Onyx , Sister studio to American Sound Studios , American East , its orginal orgins. The Studio was one of two of the first architecturally designed studios, of purpose built construction starting in 1966 . Bobby Manuel ,working at the Onyx went on to become one of Stax records greatest session players and producers.
Jim Gaines as well was one of the first to engineer in the studios early opening.
Also in the early Onyx years Ronnie Stoots " The Markeys " ventured out to become " Ronnie Angel " produced by George Klein. The Studio was purchased by Don Crews and Chips Moman in 1967 and the Studio operated as American Recording Studios east until 1972 to handle the over flow work of the booming American Sound. The Memphis Boys , The Memphis Horns , Glen Spreen arranger of the Elvis sessions tracked the strings and horns on Elvis Presleys, Kentucky Rain @ American East Deadrick St.
Chips Moman had the same tape machines at both studios. He and Don had to make sure that the sister studio would be compatible to handle the massive overflow of Pop , Rock ,R&B.
The list of artists & session players worked on hundreds of recordings making it on the Billboard top 40 and #1 hits . Almost every major Record label has used the studio including Atlantic Records legand Tom Dowd during the Onyx American East years.
American Recording Studios was not a label making it the perfect place for all the major record labels to bring there top acts to get that Memphis Sound . Chips partnered up with Marty Lacker as V.P of Promotions of the newly formed " American Group Production".
Martys office was located at the Deadrick St. studio to promote the newly formed AGP Label. Chips moved the operation to Nashville at the end of 1972 .
Don Crews took over operations and opened the studio back up as Onyx and was producing records for the major labels with T.G Shepard. They ran it until 1975 with plenty of history left behind. The Bar- Kays, after Stax closed needed a home base and Onyx (American East) became their home along with Robert Turner , owning the studio until circa 1988.
The Studio was like most properties in the inner city. It was owned by a Real Estate company and set for almost two years, before being leased to new studio operators Easley Mc Cain.
It had not been kept up over the years and needed a lot of patching up and some real attention was needed.
E&M put a lot of time into getting it back to recording mode. After a real nice coat of grey and black paint and some hard work, they had assembled it back as the infamous studio that it always has been . They were able to offer a incrediable studio and some old vintage gear and fill a void of studios of the past and were able to make new history at this old music landmark . For those who walked through the doors in the 60s 70s 80s 90s & into the 21century. Despite the industry changing from old ways to new ways it is amazing that a true purpose built studio has survied through fire , storms , insurance claims and major neglect .
After all these years the Studio prouldly hangs on it's walls all of the work and dedication put in to it from the past success and will always be dedicated to those who believed in keeping this wonderful studio alive.
It is a private studio now with a goal of preservation to the future of Memphis Music . There is so much history here that it should be noted that Bob Dunn my father who ran the King Records operations in Memphis & my Uncle Donald " Duck " Dunn both encourged saving this studio. They both passed away before they could see the end result. So many walked away after the fire. If it was torn down or repurposed would we even be talking about it today?
By Toby Sells
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