We offer a wealth of story ideas from our Famous Places & Faces (W.C. Handy, Helen Keller and the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Alabama) to Muscle Shoals music history to one-of-a-kind attractions like Tom’s Wall.
Muscle Shoals Has Got the Swampers
The music heritage in Florence, Alabama (part of the Shoals area) has seen a resurgence in the past year with the release of the “Muscle Shoals” documentary. Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama has helped create some of the most important and resonant songs of all time. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, Rick Hall brought black and white together to create music for the generations. He is responsible for creating the “Muscle Shoals Sound” and The Swampers, the house band at FAME Studios. Muscle Shoals’ magnetism and mystery still remain influential in the music industry today. Dr. Dre of Beats Electronics has invested in the renovation and restoration of the former Muscle Shoals Sound studio.
Famous Faces and Famous Places
In addition to the Muscle Shoals Sound, this area is the birthplace of W.C. Handy (“Father of the Blues”) and Helen Keller (“The First Lady of Courage”). Both of their homes are open to the public. Handy was born in a humble two-room cabin. The pump where Helen Keller said her first words still stands at her home, where “The Miracle Worker” play is performed on the grounds each summer.
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in The Shoals
Two spectacular championship courses, the Fighting Joe and the Schoolmaster, overlook sparkling Wilson Lake and the Tennessee River. Some of the best public golf on the earth, they are part of the largest golf construction project ever attempted. Play both courses-plus to get the full treatment with a luxurious clubhouse, fine dining, beautifully stocked pro shop, and nearby grand resort at the Marriott Shoals in Florence.
Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian Treasure
A genuine work of art – from the floors to the furnishings to the faucets – the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Rosenbaum House is one of the purest examples of Wright’s Usonian design. Built in 1939, this significant structure is cypress, glass, and brick and still has original hardware and furnishings designed by Wright. Originally built for $12,000 as an affordable, middle-class home, the house is the only Wright design open to the public in the Southeastern United States.
Since 1988, Tom Hendrix has been building a thick, low, snaky wall out of 8.5 million pounds of individual rocks to honor his Native American great-great-grandmother, the only known person banished during the Trail of Tears who walked back home to North Alabama. The amazing stone wall is Hendrix’s tribute to her and to all Native American women.