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    Wood, Bobby

    Keyboardist from Mississippi who tried to take correspondence courses in classical music until realizing that folk was more to his liking.  He was born into a musical family, and they had their own, aptly titled Wood Family Gospel Group.  A chance meeting with Elvis Presley in the mid-‘50s turned out to be prophetic. 


    In 1960, he moved to Memphis, Tennessee, and met Stan Kesler, an engineer at Sun Records.  Stan encouraged him to record and release “If I’m a Fool for Lovin’ You”, which became a hit on the Joy label.  Bobby toured to support the record but was in an automobile accident which sidelined him for more than six months.  Unable to tour, he focused on session work, instead.  He and Gene Chrisman, Tommy Cogbill, Bobby Emmons, Mike Leech and Reggie Young comprised the Memphis Boys.


    The Memphis Boys worked with an eclectic array of artists and groups, such as The Box Tops, Neil Diamond, Herbie Mann, Wilson Pickett, James & Bobby Purify, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Dusty Springfield, Billy Swan, the Sweet Inspirations, B.J. Thomas, and Dionne Warwick.


    Chips Moman, a producer, tapped him to assemble the American Studios House Band.  They were instrumental—pun intended—in amassing 120 hit records for the studio from 1967 to 1971.  While at American, he ran into Elvis again and laid down some tracks with him, including “In the Ghetto”, “Kentucky Rain”, and “Suspicious Minds”.


    Moman moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and Bobby relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where he quickly found himself on Music City’s A team, backing artists such as Kris Kristofferson and Tammy Wynette.


    In 1973, he reunited with The King at Stax for sides such as “I Got a Thing About You Baby” and “Promised Land” and the albums, Good Times and Raised on Rock.  Billy “Crash” Craddock recorded one of Bobby’s songs, “Still Thinkin’ About You”, in 1974. 


    In the early ‘80s, Bobby appeared on two of the biggest country hits of all time, “Always on My Mind” by Willie Nelson and “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones.  He Stopped Loving Her Today” topped the charts in 1980.  “Always on My Mind” won Grammy awards for Best Country Song and Song of the Year in 1982. 


    Bobby also enjoyed chart success with his own compositions, such as “Half the Way”, “Talkin’ in Your Sleep, and “What’s Your Name, What’s Your Number”.


    As if he hadn’t been living a charmed life, in 1989, Allen Reynolds hooked him up with Garth Brooks, and he went on to play keyboards on all of Garth’s albums.


    In 2007, he and The Memphis Boys were enshrined in the Musicians Hall of Fame.


    More information about this prolific artist should be available soon.  Bobby has been working on his memoirs, tentatively titled “From Elvis to Garth”.


    Randy Barlow recordings

    Dixie Man (J.L. Wallace/Terry Skinner/Ken Bell) 



    1. http://www.answers.com/topic/bobby-wood
    2. http://www.answers.com/topic/bobby-wood#ixzz1CdohoCc4
    3. http://soulfulmusic.blogspot.com/2009/02/memphis-boy-bobby-wood-to-publish.html
    4. http://www.elvis.com.au/presley/interview_bobby_wood.shtml
    5. http://musicianshalloffame.com/blog/?page_id=456














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