The Deep South Soundscape: The Muscle Shoals Story

THE MUSCLE SHOALS STORY

In this issue of the Deep South Soundscape, the Jam-Tex selector explores the Muscle Shoals Sound. The selector is sorting through the records of the Deep South from its blues, country, gospel, soul, and r&B sounds sounds to its rap, indie rock, and modern blends. The Muscle Shoals Sound of Alabama defines the southern soul experience. Numerous classic tracks have been recorded at the legendary studios of FAME (Florence Alabama Music Enterprises) and the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. One of the great studio bands, which became known as “The Swampers,” crafted the music for some of the eras biggest soul hits like “When A Man Loves A Woman” by Percy Sledge, “Mustang Sally” and “Land of 1000 Dances” by Wilson Pickett, “I Never Loved A Man” by Aretha Franklin, “Tell Mama” by Etta James, “I’ll Take You There” by the Staple Singers, and “Sitting In Limbo” by the international reggae sensation Jimmy Cliff.

Great country artists like Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett found inspiration along the Shoals. And, southern rock emerged from this melting pot with the soaring “Free Bird,” “Simple Man,” and “Gimme Three Steps” of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the blue-collar anthems of Bog Seger recorded at its studios. The discography also includes the swaggering Rolling Stones songs “Wild Horses” and “Brown Sugar.” Here is a selection of Muscle Shoals related, inspired, and recorded sounds…

Arthur Alexander – “You Better Move On” (1961)
The Rolling Stones – “You Better Move On” (1964)
Arthur Alexander – “Anna (Go To Him)” (1962)
The Beatles – “Anna (Go To Him)” (1963)
Tommy Roe – “Everybody” (1963)
Jimmy Hughes – “Steal Away” (1964)
The Tams – “What Kind of Fool (Do You Think I Am)” (1964)
The Tams – “Laugh It Off” (1964)
Joe Tex – “Hold On To What You’ve Got” (1964)
Percy Sledge – “When A Man Loves A Woman” (1966)
James and Bobby Purify – “I’m Your Puppet” (1966)
Otis Redding – “You Left The Water Running” (1966)
Wilson Pickett – “Land of 1000 Dances” (1966)
Wilson Pickett – “Mustang Sally” (1966)
Wilson Pickett – “Funky Broadway” (1967)
Aretha Franklin – “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)” (1967)
Aretha Franklin – “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” (1967)
Aretha Franklin – “Respect” (1967)
Clarence Carter – “Tell Daddy” (1967)
Arthur Connely – “Sweet Soul Music” (1967)
Etta James – “Tell Mama” (1968)
Etta James – “I’d Rather Go Blind” (1968)
Etta James – “Security” (1968)
Clarence Carter – “Slip Away” (1968)
Clarence Carter – “Too Weak To Fight” (1968)
Wilson Pickett – “Hey Jude” (1968)
R. B. Greaves – “Take A Letter Maria” (1969)
Bobbie Gentry – “Fancy” (1970)
Clarence Carter – “Patches” (1970)
The Rolling Stones – “Brown Sugar” (1971)
The Rolling Stones – “Wild Horses” (1971)
Jimmy Cliff – “Sitting in Limbo” (1971)
The Staple Singers – “I’ll Take You There” (1972)
Mel and Tim – “Starting All Over Again” (1972)
Traffic – “(Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired” (1973)
Paul Simon – “Kodachrome” (1973)
Paul Simon – “Loves Me Like A Rock” (1973)
Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Gimme Three Steps” (1973)
Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Simple Man” (1973)
Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Free Bird” (1974)
Willie Nelson – “Pretend I Never Happened” (1974)
Willie Nelson – “Sister’s Coming Home/Down at the Corner Beer Joint” (1974)
Willie Nelson – “(How Will I Know) I’m Falling In Love Again” (1974)
Willie Nelson – “Bloody Mary Morning” (1974)
Willie Nelson – “Heaven and Hell” (1974)
Bob Seger – “Katmandu” (1975)
Bob Seger – “Night Moves” (1976)
Bob Seger – “Main Street” (1976)
Lynyrd Skynyrd – “What’s Your Name” (1977)
Lynyrd Skynyrd – “That Smell” (1977)
Bob Seger – “Old Time Rock and Roll” (1979)
Bob Dylan – “Gotta Serve Somebody” (1979)
Bob Dylan – “Slow Train” (1979)
Jimmy Buffett – “Coconut Telegraph” (1981)
Jimmy Buffett – “Stars Fell on Alabama” (1981)
Bettye Lavette – “Choices” (2007)
The Black Keys – “Tighten Up” (2010)
The Black Keys – “Howlin’ For You” (2010)
The Black Keys – “Black Mud” (2010)
The Black Keys – “Everlasting Light” (2010)
Alicia Keys – “Pressing On” (2013)

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The Deep South Soundscape: The Muscle Shoals Story

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