Let the Chips Fall Where They May
So a little back tracking to Troy Shondell. In the Spring of 1961 Gary Shelton adopted his new stage name and was provided a track which would provide him with his only significant hit “This Time” which jettisoned all the way to the Billboard Top 10 peaking at number 6.
The song was composed by an interesting character, Chips Moman and had been initially given to Thomas Wayne of “Tragedy” fame. “This Time” was actually Wayne’s first release appearing on the Mercury label in March of 1958 coming just ahead of Wayne’s move over to the Fernwood record label.
Shondell’s recording first appeared on a very obscure record label called “Gaye Records”. It was quickly released on the larger Goldcrest label – doing moderately well before finally landing with Liberty Records in Los Angeles – a record with distribution clout – and thus the big hit.
Chips Moman had a very interesting and diverse musical journey in life. He worked as a producer working with Elvis Presley, Tammy Wynette, Merrillee Rush, Carla Thomas and more.
He was a member of Sun recording artist Warren Smith’s road band. He moved to California in the late 1950’s and backed Johnny Burnette and then toured with Gene Vincent. He also worked as a studio musician recording with many ‘Wrecking Crew” members at the famed Gold Star Studios.
In November of 1961, Chips had the distinction of composing and producing the very first two tracks for the “Volt” soul label “Burn’t Biscuits” b/w “Raw Dough” recorded by “The Triumphs”. Chips played harmonica on the sides and played alongside Booker T on the organ. One member of the Triumphs would go on to solo fame as Al Green”
Chips located a headquarters for Stax-Volt records (in an old movie theater in Memphis) and served for a time as their recording engineer. He produced their first significant hit “Gee Whiz” by Carla Thomas in 1960.
Next he would open his own studio in Memphis “American Sound” where he would record the Box Tops, Mark Lindsay Sandy Posey, Joe Tex, Wilson Pickett and many more.
In 1967 he teamed up with composer Dan Penn to write Aretha Franklin’s 1967 R&B charting hit “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man”.
Moman’s American Sound studio recorded over 120 hit chart songs during it’s run.
Chips would depart Memphis in 1971 moving on eventually to Nashville marrying song writer and singer Toni Wine who found fame as a primary voice of the “Archies” on 1969’s “Sugar Sugar” along with Ron Dante.
Chip won a Grammy in 1976 for his composition “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” released by B.J. Thomas. Then in 1977 he was a co-composer of the Waylon Jennings’ hit “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)”. He then lent his talents to producing and recording Willie Nelson, Ronnie Milsap and even Petula Clark. In the 1980’s he produced the super assemblage of country stars Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson on “The Highwayman”.