The Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auction June 2023
Search By:
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/8/2023
Tommy Cogbill (1932 – 1982) was an extraordinary self-taught musician/craftsman who originally played guitar but switched to a 1966 Fender Precision Bass. The rest is musical history. Cogbill was also a member of a legendary house band (known as the “Memphis Boys”) at the fabled “American Sound Studio” located in Memphis, Tennessee. While you may not know Tommy Cogbill by name, you do know his sonic fingerprinting on hits like: “Respect”, “Memphis Soul Stew”, “Son of A Preacher Man”, “Funky Broadway” or “Land of 1000 Dances” to name a few

His bass work is obviously integral to the following songs/albums overlapping Rock And Roll, Soul, R&B and Country genres:

- Four complete albums with Elvis:

"From Elvis in Memphis" including the hit song “In the Ghetto”

"From Memphis to Vegas/From Vegas to Memphis"

"Raised on Rock"

"Good Times"

- Four entire albums with Aretha Franklin – prime examples: (1966-67) “(I Never Loved A Man) The Way, I Love You”, “Respect”, “Chain of Fools” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”

- Three albums with Wilson Pickett including the hit songs: “Land of 1000 Dances” and “Funky Broadway” (1966-67)

- King Curtis - “Memphis Soul Stew” (1967). The opening bass line is one of the great anthems associated with Memphis music.

- Dusty Springfield - Dusty In Memphis album including the international hit song “Son of A Preacher Man” produced by Jerry Wexler and Tom Dowd (1969)

- Albums by Jimmy Buffet, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Bob Seger, Joe Tex, Dobie Gray, J.J. Cale, Charlie Rich, The Box Tops.

- Tommy Cogbill co-produced Neil Diamond’s 4th studio album Brother Love’ Traveling Salvation Show and the hit “Sweet Caroline.”

- Collaborations with: Solomon Burke, Dionne Warwick, Debby Boone, Crystal Gayle, Roy Orbison and Ronnie Hawkins.

Originally known as the 827 Thomas Street Band (American Studio’s address), the group coalesced in the mid-1960s, originally playing together on popular songs from local acts like the Gentrys and the Box Tops. These early successes formed a natural bond among the members, also catching the eye of industry leaders near and far. Unlike other local studios like Stax and Royal, American Sound did not have a label attached to it, meaning that they were not married to particular musicians or a specific sound. Before long, record labels like RCA, Warner Brothers, and Decca began sending their artists south to record, hoping to capture some of that signature Memphis magic. Atlantic Records became a particularly important pipeline to the studio, especially after their relationship with Stax began to wane.

American Sound Studio at 827 Thomas St, Memphis Tennessee, wasn‘t much to look at in 1964, a run down building at best — on the wrong side of the tracks of town. But inside those walls careers were made — or in Elvis‘ case, they were rekindled. Fresh off the well received Singer 68 Comeback Special, Christmas of 1968, Elvis wanted to keep the fires burning. He wanted, no needed, a hit record. Months before, his good friend, and member of the Memphis Mafia, Marty Lacker told Elvis about a new recording studio, American Sound Studio —where shinning stars, like Aretha Franklin, Neil Diamond and BJ Thomas, were already cranking out hit after hit. And guess what? It was in Memphis

At first, Elvis merely listened. He was loyal to RCA. No need to rock the boat for more conflict with RCA and Col. Tom Parker. However, Elvis‘ most recent act of rebellion, by way of Steve Bender and the 68 Comeback Special, had taught Elvis that some fights were worth fighting. Elvis was in the best shape of his life, both physically and vocally, and ready to go 12 rounds. When the bell rang in January of 1969, Tommy Cogbill and his band mates known as The Memphis Boys, were present and waiting for their artist to enter the building. They had been told it was Neil Diamond. They‘d worked with Neil before, with Tommy co-producing Diamond’s album “Brother Loves Traveling Salvation Show” and the hit song “Sweet Caroline” now a sports anthem in Boston for the Red Sox. It was a cold Memphis night, and only Chips Moman and Don Crews, producers and owners for American Sound Studio were aware that Elvis Presley was about to enter the room and music history was soon to be laid down, track by track.

For the weeks that followed, January to February, the hard work produced “In The Ghetto”, Elvis‘ first top 10 hit in 4 years and would go on to be an international hit. It‘s guitar strumming opener and bass lines rings familiar to all music lovers. Elvis came alive during these sessions. Two albums were released from this period, “From Elvis in Memphis” and “Elvis Back in Memphis” are some of his best. Tommy Cogbill would play bass on 25 Elvis songs including: Don’t Cry Daddy, From a Jack to a King, Hey Jude, Kentucky Rain, Just A Little Bit, Long Black Limousine, Mama Liked The Roses, My Little Friend, A Little Bit of Green, And The Grass Won’t Pay No Mind, I’m a Fool (For Loving You), If You Don’t Come Back, I’m Movin’ On, Inherit The Wind, Gentle On My Mind.

Not only was this guitar played by Cogbill during these infamous sessions, but there are photos of Elvis holding and playing around with the guitar. Elvis liked bass guitars and owned a 1960s white Fender bass like this one. He played bass guitar on one song "You're So Square (Baby I Don’t Care)" on the 1957 album Jailhouse Rock. Photos of Elvis Presley holding a similar bass guitar.

Provenance: From the Family of Tommy Cogbill

Authentication: Letter of Authenticity from the Family and a Gotta Have Rock and Roll Certificate of Authenticity
Elvis Presley Tommy Cogbill 1966 Fender Precision Bass  Used on Various Elvis Albums Also On Hits By Aretha Franklin Wilson Pickett And Many Others
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $25,000
Final Bid: $20,000
Estimate: $100,000 - $150,000
Number of Bids:1
Email A Friend
Ask a Question
 I Have One To Sell