In the early 1960’s, Eugene (Gene) Lucchesi, Sr. founded The Sounds of Memphis Studio and productions. Over the next few years his company started several publishing companies: Beckie Publishing, Il Gatto, Sounds of Memphis and By-Gene Music; all Tennessee Corporations. He also started his own recording labels: Crystal, X-L, Pen and SOM.
In 1965, Gene cut a record on his X-L label on a group called Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. Every label he took the record to turned him down. However, Gene believed in this song and ran off 1,000 copies and it soon became a regional hit. It also got the attention of MGM records. Thirty days after being released on the MGM label, this song had sold 1,000,000 copies. This song was a #1 hit in the United States and all over the world. And, it was #1 on the charts in Germany for 42 straight weeks! This song is now a pop classic and its title is “Wooly Bully”!
Once the Sounds of Memphis Studio, production companies and Beckie Publishing had attracted national and international notice, MGM and Sounds of Memphis entered into a joint agreement. Over the next few years close to 100 songs were released on the MGM and MGM/SOM labels.
In 1974, Sounds of Memphis publishing company signed a multi-million dollar contract with the Associated Television Music Group (ATV) for worldwide placement of songs. Among the placements was the 1975 Chess release “Gotta Move On (To My Destiny)” by the Ovations.
In addition to recording artist, Sounds of Memphis Studio provided a starting grounds for many of todays hottest producers and writers including:
Mike Curb, currently the President of Curb Records, was a very important part of the relationship between SOM and MGM. In 1972, Curb was the President of MGM Records in Los Angeles when he decided to seek out and make a deal with the Sounds of Memphis Studios. This was the beginning of the MGM/SOM label.
Allen Reynolds: Producer of Garth Brooks, Hal Ketchum, Emmylou Harris, Kathy Mattea, Crystal Gayle, and Don Williams. Writer of hit songs including the Vogues’ “Five O’Clock World”.
Jim Cotton: Grammy Award winning producer and Engineer for Billy Ray Cyrus, Toby Keith, Montgomery Gentry, and Alabama.
Eddie Ray: Currently the Operation Director and Vice Chairman of the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame . Ray also produced for such artists as: Fats Domino, Johnny Rivers, Harry Nillson, The O’Jays, The Osmond Brothers, Marie Osmond and The Ovations. Eddie joined company as executive vice president. Eddie left Memphis in 1979.
George Jackson came to the studio as a writer and artist. He wrote the Osmonds’ first million seller “One Bad Apple” and co-wrote the Bob Segar hit “Old Time Rock and Roll”. Jackson also wrote material for Aretha Franklin and The Ovations. Jackson has three songs in our catalog including “Old Friend”.
Bob McDill, a successful writer of numerous hit songs including the hit “Gone Country” by Alan Jackson. McDill, a frequent ASCAP honoree, wrote a wealth of material while working with producers and artists at the SOM studio.
Eddie Cornelius Jr. of the successful group, The Cornelius Bros. and Sister Rose, not only recorded at the SOM studio, but he also wrote and recorded the song “My Hands Are Tied” for the Indigo Music label which he signed with our Beckie Publishing Company.
Bobby Wood, a successful writer and musician in Nashville. Bobby recorded numerous songs in the SGM catalog including: “If I’m a Fool for Loving You” and “Human Emotions”.
Dickey Lee, writer and performer of the 1962 million seller “Patches”. Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame Inductee.
Chips Moman, famed producer and writer. Chips wrote and produced our company’s charter “Big Party” recorded by Barbara and the Browns released on the XL and Stax labels. Chips’ other credits include the Aretha Franklin song he co-wrote with Dan Penn, “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man”.
In 1984, the SOM studio and publishing companies were each sold separately. Although the studio has changed hands (and names) over the last few years, the publishing company was sold and continues to be owned and operated by Linda Lucchesi, Gene’s daughter. Linda formed Simply Grand Music, Inc. whose catalog includes all of the songs from SOM Publishing, Beckie Publishing, Il Gatto and By-Gene which are affiliated with BMI. In addition, Linda formed Memphis Town Music, Inc. which is affiliated with ASCAP.
"I plan on carrying on the family tradition in the music industry. I am, and have been for over 20 years, a voting member of NARAS and the CMA Awards. As well as a member of the NMPA, NSAI, and A2IM."
Linda Lucchesi, President of SGM
SGM, Inc. is currently signing new writers and songs! We receive hundreds of demos each year from hopeful writers and artists. We carefully pick out the ones we believe to be hit material as we actively pursue to company’s next million seller. However, we continue to work our older material. In fact, several songs from the sixties catalog can currently be heard on new releases and reissues.