Chips Moman and Marty Lacker earn notes on Beale Street Walk of Fame
By Bob Mehr - The Memphis Commercial Appeal
Legendary Memphis songwriter/producer Chips Moman and veteran music business leader
Marty Lacker will have their names added to the Brass Note Walk of Fame on Beale Street on

A ceremony commemorating the occasion will take place at 5 p.m. in front of the Superior Bar
at 159 Beale.

The Georgia-born Moman hitchhiked to Memphis as a teen and became a gifted rockabilly
guitarist and band leader in the 1950s. He later became one of the architects of the early Stax
Records and author of some of the most enduring songs in the history of rhythm and blues
and country music -- from "Dark End of the Street" to "Luckenbach Texas (Back to the Basics
of Love)."

Now retired and living back in his native Georgia, Moman -- who suffered a stroke in 2008 --
will not be in attendance at the Beale Street ceremony, due to his health.

Accepting his award will be his friend Marty Lacker.
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"Memphis honoring Chips is long overdue," says Lacker. "He's a guy who brought a lot of good publicity and promotion, with all the music he cut, from the
start of Stax in '59 all the way through the decades."

"He brought big-name artists here. And the fact of the matter is, people were coming here to get his sound," says Lacker. "He feels greatly honored and
obviously wishes he could come for the ceremony."

Moman famously helped usher a creative rebirth for Elvis Presley, producing his comeback sessions in Memphis in 1969. And it was Moman who helped
build and shape the famed American Sound Studios and its house band -- generating the most prolific run of chart hits ever, starting with the Gentrys and
Sandy Posey and continuing on with the likes of Neil Diamond, B.J. Thomas, Presley and many others.

In 1972, Moman closed up American studios, eventually landing in Nashville, where he would spend the next dozen years dominating the country field,
writing hits and producing albums by Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Tammy Wynette and Ronnie Millsap.

Moman did return to Memphis in 1985, heading a new studio operation and recording the high-profile Class of '55 album featuring Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny
Cash, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison.

Also being honored with a Brass Note is Lacker, a longtime confidante of Elvis Presley, and a key behind-the-scenes player in Memphis music during the
1960s and 1970s.

In 1967 Lacker helped launch the local Pepper Records label (signing and producing a young Rita Coolidge).

Lacker was instrumental in bringing Elvis Presley to record with Moman at American Sound Studios, which yielded Presley hits including "Suspicious Minds"
and "In the Ghetto." Lacker would go on to become American's vice president and business manager for several years, before starting his own company,

In the early '70s, Lacker also helped co-found the local NARAS/Grammy chapter as well as the serving as the chairman of the original Memphis and Shelby
County Music Commission, and was involved in producing the period's Memphis Music Awards.

"A big thing that I wanted to accomplish was to organize the music industry in town. Memphis was not a very organized city; everybody did their own thing,"
says Lacker who helped coordinate the launch of the professional industry organization Memphis Music Inc. "At the end of the day, you can't underestimate
what the music that came out of Memphis has brought to this city."

Now retired, Lacker has authored or co-authored a pair of books on Presley, "Elvis: Portrait of a Friend" and "Elvis and the Memphis Mafia," and has been
active in campaigning for Moman and the American Band to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Beale Street Brass Note Walk of Fame program was launched in 1986 by Performa Entertainment Real Estate and has since honored more than 100
Memphis music notables. For more information on Sunday's ceremony, go to
Elvis connections, Chips Moman and Marty Lacker being honoured
in Memphis with a Beale Street Blues Note.