He was a bass guitar player, guitarist and producer born Thomas Clark Cogbill in Johnson Grove, Tennessee, who learned to play the guitar when he was six years old and progressed to the bass and other instruments through the years.
He joined a rhythm section quintet who became highly sought after for studio and session work and soon they would be appearing in Muscle Shoals in Alabama, New York, Memphis and Nashville and in 1967 one of the guitarists, Chips Moman, bought the American Sound Studios in Memphis which would become like a magnet for artists wanting them to perform on their recordings.
He regularly worked closely with some of the best known names in the business in the recording studio and his personal style of bass playing has appeared on many hit singles that include “In the Ghetto” and “Kentucky Rain” by Elvis Presley , “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield, “Funky Broadway” by Wilson Pickett, “Respect”, “Chain of Fools” and “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin and “Cry Like a Baby” by the Box Tops. Albums that he appeared on are numerous but a selection of them include Wilson Pickett’s Greatest Hits and Wicket Pickett by Wilson Pickett, Best of Esther Phillips, Living & Dying in 3/4 Time, A1A and Rancho Deluxe by Jimmy Buffett , Suspicious Minds, Live a Little, Love a Little, From Nashville to Memphis: The Essential 60s Masters by Elvis Presley , In My Lifetime, And The Singer Sings His Song, Gold and Greatest Hits by Neil Diamond , Rare & Unreleased Recordings from the Golden Reign, Aretha Arrives, Lady Soul and 30 Greatest Hits by Aretha Franklin, RCA Country Legends by Waylon Jennings, Sojourner by Larry Jon Wilson, Seven by Bob Seger , Breakaway by Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge , Anthology by Bobby Womack, Troubadour by J.J, Cale, Classic & Unreleased Collection by Willie Nelson, Dusty in Memphis by Dusty Springfield and Home in Your Heart by Solomon Burke .
Deciding that he would also like to take a stab at production work, one of his successes was “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond .
In 1982 he suffered a stroke in Nashville, Tennessee, which would take his life when he was just 50 years old.
Here he is recording “Kentucky Rain” with Elvis Presley…