"The Social Network of the South"
Being from Alabama, I have always been intrigued by the music produced in Muscle Shoals. From the Stones to Cher to Aretha, this tiny town has hosted a "who's who" of singers. Now, with an independent film titled "Muscle Shoals" that will be shown at this year's Sundance Film Festival, along with the Southern Living article "The New Sound of Muscle Shoals" (http://www.southernliving.com/travel/south-central/new-sound-of-mus...), the "hit-recording capital of the world" is getting it's due! Cannot wait to see it!
In a tiny Alabama town with the curious name of Muscle Shoals, something miraculous sprang from the mud of the Tennessee River. A group of unassuming, yet incredibly talented, locals came together and spawned some of the greatest music of all time: “Mustang Sally,” “I Never Loved a Man,” “Wild Horses,” and many more. During the most incendiary periods of racial hostility, white folks and black folks came together to create music that would last for generations and gave birth to the incomparable “Muscle Shoals sound.”
Do you have a favorite Muscle Shoals produced song?
From the Sundance Film website:
At the heart of the story is Rick Hall; overcoming crushing hardship, he managed to entice talent like Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett to come and record what became their hit albums, backed up by the funkiest white men ever—the homegrown house band, the Swampers. As the word spread about the electrifying musical chemistry in this unexpected place, the likes of Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, the Staples Singers, the Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Simon and Garfunkel magnetically followed suit. Interviewing an incredible roster of musicians, director Greg Camalier unearths a rich history of this unheralded gold mine of American music.
Greg “Freddy” Camalier makes his directorial debut with Muscle Shoals. The film was inspired by a magical happenstance visit to the town of the same name in Alabama. Camalier is a self-taught filmmaker who expresses his passion using his instinct, sensibility, and great appreciation of the art form. His original approach to this music documentary is apparent in the mystical and evocative way he tells the story of Muscle Shoals
Can't wait to see this!
Let me begin by telling you how much I enjoyed meeting you last week in Jekyll, Island. You guys were charming. I just wish my work schedule would have allowed me to spend more time with you guys.
When I'm not obsessing over the football fortunes of my Tennessee Vols and my SMU Mustangs, I'm usually under my headphones listening to some good music, which just happens to come from our home, The South.
Growing up, I felt like one's musical taste was strictly binary. You either liked Dionne Warwick or Aretha Franklin. You either liked James Brown or Marvin Gaye. It's a pretty simplistic world view, but I was only five years old at the time, so please don't judge me to harshly.
One of the first songs that stuck in my skull full of mush was RESPECT on the I Never Loved a Man album. Now I didn't have a clue about what she was talking about, but I just liked the fact that they were spelling a word in the song, and it had a funky beat. As I got older, I was reading the album notes and saw that it was recorded in Muscle Shoals, or Muscle Shoulders as I used to call it. My dad is from Madison, Alabama, and we would see the sign for Muscle Shoals as we traveled to my grandparents home from Tennessee. I actually thought Aretha lived in Muscle Shoals.
I really want to check out this documentary. I would love to know the story behind this power house studio.
Also, I love the site. Hopefully I won't be suspended for my long winded commentaries. lol