MUSCLE SHOALS, ALABAMA:
THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE SOUTHERN SOUL SOUND
A short drive southeast near Florence from The Preserve, you'll find a piece of Southern music history and a MUST SEE for music lovers. The legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and FAME Studio are noted as the birthplace of the Southern soul sound. The quiet Alabama town of Muscle Shoals churned our classic hits like Percy Sledge’s “When A Man Loves a Woman”; “I Never Loved A Man” by Aretha Franklin; “Brown Sugar” by The Rolling Stones; and “I’ll Take You There” by The Staple Singers. Etta James, Willie Nelson, Cher, Cat Stevens, The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and Jimi Hendrix produced timeless hits with notable hints of pure and distinct Muscle Shoals, Alabama sound fusing hillbilly, blues, rock 'n roll, country, and gospel.
Jimmy Johnson played backup guitar for Paul Simon and Wilson Pickett. A nine-song sampling from Lynyard Skynyrd's first-ever recordings were produced at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. Sam Phillips, who discovered Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash was from close by.
Today, the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and the FAME Studio both continue to operate as working studios, as well as being popular tourist attractions, offering daily tours of the restored facilities. Among the more recent artists to record in Muscle Shoals are Alicia Keys, Drive-By Truckers, Band Of Horses, Bettye LaVette, Phish, Greg Allman, and Cyril Neville.