Friday, November 10, 2023

Muscle Shoals Music Studio: Hitsville Alabama

All of our lives are set to music in some way.  We start young, and then usually, by the age of 30, it is set in stone.  Sure, we listen to new and different music, but our tastes and what we listen to always go back to our youth.   Today, we are visiting the Muscle Shoals Recording Studio. 

When you take the tour, the rule is not to touch or lean on the piano.  This piano has an insurance value of over a million dollars.  Lynard Skynard wrote Freebird on it one afternoon.  Then they recorded that song on the same evening.  It was also used in many other artist's recordings.  If you listen to classic rock radio, you will hear this piano at least half a dozen times in just a few hours.  

This studio holds the keys to much of the music of my generation.   From 1969 to 1979, this studio recorded 312 Albums, 75 of which went gold or platinum.  Only Motown produced more hits than this little town.  The Rolling Stones, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, Lynard Skynyrd, Cher; I could go on, but you get the picture.
There are many cool things to see in the Florence, Alabama, quad-city Area, which comprises Florance, Sheffield, Tuscumbia, and Muscle Shoals.  Yesterday, we did the Tuscumbia walk, which included Hellen Keller's birthplace and home.  There is a nice downtown and a veterans memorial at the courthouse.  After the tour, we drove back into Florence across the Tennessee River to see the Frank Loyd Wright House and then over to see WC Handy's birthplace.  The father of the blues spent most of his time not far from Memphis and Clarksdale. 
Muscle Shoals is a magical place.  Glen Fry of the Eagles vacations here.  The Stones could go and shop downtown in relative anonymity.   In the heart of the American Music Triangle is something about this place; you can feel it, but you can't put your finger on it, but it's here.  

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