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Eddie Hinton (15 June 1944 – 28 July 1995) was an American songwriter and session musician best known for his work with soul music and R&B singers. He played lead guitar for Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section from 1967 to 1971.
As a session guitarist, Hinton played on hit records recorded by Wilson Pickett, Arthur Conley, Aretha Franklin, Joe Tex, Solomon Burke, Percy Sledge, The Staple Singers, The Dells, Paul Kelly, Johnny Taylor, Elvis Presley, The Box Tops, R. B. Greaves, Boz Scaggs, Evie Sands, Looking Glass, Toots Hibbert and Otis Redding.
Hinton was a songwriter in his own right as well. His most well known song is "Breakfast in Bed" which has been recorded many times, most notably by Dusty Springfield and by UB40 with Chrissie Hynde. He also co-wrote "It's All Wrong But It's All Right" sung by Laura Lee.
Legacy and Influence
A documentary of the life and musical career of Hinton was made by New Mexico Filmmakers Deryle Perryman and Moises Gonzalez. Narrated by bluesman Robert Cray, Dangerous Highway screened in film festivals across the US and made its European premiere at the 2008 Porretta Soul Festival in Porretta, Italy. The film, a critical and popular success, was never allowed commercial release as Hinton's mother, controller of most of the rights to the songs in the film, did not approve of the story.
Beginning in 2009, Shake It Records based in Cincinnati, Ohio, began releasing entries from their series Dangerous Highway: A Tribute to the Music of Eddie Hinton. This series featured cover versions of Hinton's songs by artists who were inspired by and continue his legacy. Volumes one and two were released in 2009.
Volume 1 - Greg Dulli
Side A - "Hard Luck Guy"; Side B - "Cover Me"
Volume 2 - Drive-By Truckers
Side A - "Where's Eddie?"; Side B - "Everybody Needs Love"
Volume 4 - Buffalo Killers
Side A - "Heavy Makes You Happy"; Side B - "Still Water Runs Deep"
Hinton was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on June 15, 1944, to Deanie McGee Hinton and Horton Hinton and grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He formed the Five Minutes, also known as Five Men-Its, who quickly garnered regional recognition. Two of the members of the group, drummer Johnny Sandlin and keyboardist Paul Hornsby, would join Duane and Gregg Allman in the Hour Glass and later go on to success as record producers. Hinton, Sandlin and Hornsby all spent time working as session players in Muscle Shoals. Hornsby and Sandlin worked at Rick Hall's F.A.M.E. (Florence, Alabama, Music Enterprises)studios and from there went to Capricorn Records in Macon, Ga. Hinton had joined some former FAME players known as the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (or "the Swampers") who split off from Hall and started their own studio, Muscle Shoals Sound, in Sheffield. Hinton was replaced at MSS by Wayne "Night Train" Perkins.
Hinton was the grandson of a preacher and used his gospel influences to weave stories of pain and redemption. Atlantic Records executive Jerry Wexler heard Hinton while he was doing session work at Muscle Shoals Sound and deemed him "the next big thing." However, Hinton's battles with mental illness, drugs and alcohol addiction prevented that from happening.
- Very Extremely Dangerous (1978) Muscle Shoals Sound Studio
- Letters From Mississippi (1987) Birdland Recording Studio
- Cry & Moan (1991) Duck Tape Studio
- Very Blue Highway (1993) Birdland Recording Studio
- Hard Luck Guy (1999) Birdland & Duck Tape Recording Studios