Have you ever heard of Aretha Franklin? The Rolling Stones? Paul Simon? The Osmond Brothers? Percy Sledge?
This short list doesn’t even begin to encompass all of the talented musicians who found a place in history by recording in Muscle Shoals. FAME Studios, Muscle Shoals Sound, and a host of other recording studios made Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the Hit Recording Capital of the World in the 1960s and beyond. And it didn’t stop there – today, there are recording studios all over the Muscle Shoals region, still making hits and propelling artists to fame.
This area came by its musical heritage honestly. W.C. Handy, the Father of the Blues, was born in Florence, and so were the Fathers of Rock and Roll, Sam Phillips and Buddy Killen. This area is still home to some pretty well-known musicians, including John Paul White of The Civil Wars, David Hood of the Swampers, Donnie Fritts, Spooner Oldham, Gary Nichols, Will McFarlane, Donna Jean Godcheax, and others. There are many venues around the area that feature good live music, and you never know when someone famous is going to sit in on a session. Or, who knows? The musician playing at 116 Mobile might be the next big thing on the music scene – with roots right here in Muscle Shoals.
Muscle Shoals, the Movie
In 2014, a documentary about Muscle Shoals music was release, produced by Stephen Badger and directed by Greg “Freddy” Camalier. Following the story of Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Studios, the movie shows the tremendous impact Muscle Shoals has had on modern music. Billed as “The Incredible Story of a Small Town With a Big Sound,” the movie is available through our gift shop. Tours of FAME studios are available, but are limited; contact us for more information.