Muscle Shoals Studio band The Swampers from left: Barry Beckett (keyboards), Roger Hawkins (drums), David Hood (bass), and Jimmy Johnson (guitar).
Wilson Pickett and Duane Allman during the recording of Wilson Pickett's cover of "Hey Jude" by The Beatles.
Singer-Songwriter Bobbie Gentry at Muscle Shoals Sound in 1969.
Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, and Keith Richards during their sessions at FAME and Muscle Shoals Sound.
FAME Recording Studios on 603 Avalon Avenue
The Music of Muscle Shoals
During the 1960s and 1970s, many hits in R&B, Soul, and Rock music were recorded at the Muscle Shoals Sound or FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. As a result, Muscle Shoals has been dubbed "The Hit Recording Capitol of The World". Notable artists that have recorded in Muscle Shoals include Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Percy Sledge, Clarence Carter, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger, and Paul Simon. Popular songs that came from Muscle Shoals include "Brown Sugar," "I'll Take You There", "When A Man Loves A Woman", "Mustang Sally", "Old Time Rock N' Roll", "I Never Loved A Man", "I'd Rather Go Blind", and "Kodachrome". Muscle Shoals Sound Studio was started by a group of musicians called "The Swampers" and they have either played or produced the artists that recorded there. They are mentioned in the song "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. FAME studios was founded by Rick Hall and he produced and engineered the songs for the artists that recorded there. Some people say that Muscle Shoals has a sound that is a mix between Soul, R&B, and Country because of the way The Swampers played on the songs. Muscle Shoals continues to be an influence on artists today with The Black Keys recording some tracks from the album "Brothers" at Muscle Shoals Sound and Greg Allman's last solo album "Southern Blood" recorded at FAME studios. Several artists such as Willie Nelson, Grace Potter, Keb Mo, Vince Gill, and Steven Tyler with Nuno Bettencourt got together at FAME for the recent tribute album "Muscle Shoals Small Town, Big Sound" in 2018.