Muscle Shoals Sound Studio
Muscle Shoals Sound Studio
Original studios at 3614 Jackson Highway, Sheffield
|Location||3614 Jackson Hwy., Sheffield, Alabama|
|Architectural style||Early Commercial|
|NRHP Reference #||06000437|
|Added to NRHP||June 02, 2006|
The Muscle Shoals Sound Studio was formed in Sheffield, Alabama, in 1969 when musicians Barry Beckett (keyboards), Roger Hawkins (drums), Jimmy Johnson (guitar) and David Hood (bass) (called The Swampers) left FAME Studios to create their own studio. The Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section, as they became known, was the first rhythm section to own its own studio and, eventually, its own publishing and production companies. The distinctive accompaniment and arrangements have been heard on a tremendous number of legendary recordings, including those from Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, and the Staple Singers amongst others. Many artists have recorded hit songs and complete albums at the studio.
The original rhythm section that broke away to create these studios first formed in 1967 and initially played sessions in New York and Nashville as well as on the famous FAME recordings. The initial successes led to the arrival of more mainstream rock and pop performers among them The Rolling Stones, Traffic, Elton John, Boz Scaggs, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Dr. Hook, Elkie Brooks, Millie Jackson and Julian Lennon.
Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, along with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, moved to new facilities off Alabama Avenue in Sheffield in the late 1970s.
The original Muscle Shoals Sound Studios building is located at 3614 Jackson Highway and is listed on The National Register of Historic Places.
Although the original Muscle Shoals Sound Studios relocated from 3614 Jackson Highway to an updated and larger facility on Alabama Avenue in Sheffield, the building still sees occasional use as a recording studio. The Black Keys album Brothers, recorded there in 2009 achieved Grammy Award success in 2011 in the building formerly occupied by Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.
Filmmaker Greg Camalier premiered his documentary Muscle Shoals, about Rick Hall, FAME, and the departure of the Swampers who formed Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013. The film includes interviews with Bono, Alicia Keys, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards.
In June of 2013, the original building was sold by Noel Webster, who kept the building maintained, to the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation. Their goal is to eventually make the historic building a music museum.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
- Berry, Lucy (20 June 2013). "Foundation purchases original Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, which recorded Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and more". The Birmingham News. Advance Publications.
- Whitburn, Joel (1992). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books. ISBN 978-0823082803.