Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Muscle Shoals Closes

According to rollingstone.com, Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, "the Alabama venue where Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Wilson Pickett, the Rolling Stones and Paul Simon all made classic records, has closed its doors forever." Here's the story:

"It's a sad day in America," says producer, session musician and arranger Al Kooper. "So many great records were made there. The musicians, engineers and the magic of the room made it special."

Muscle Shoals Sound Studios was founded in 1969 in an old Sheffield, Alabama, casket warehouse by musicians Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins, David Hood and Jimmy Johnson, who doubled as its famous house band, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (a.k.a. "the Swampers," as immortalized in Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama"). Their first client was Cher, who recorded her 3614 Jackson Highway album there, and named it after the studio's address.

..."It almost brought me to tears when I had to do this," says co-owner Wolf Stephenson, who, along with his two fellow executives of blues/gospel label Malaco Records, purchased the studio from the Rhythm Section members in 1985. "It's heartbreaking."
Sad news.

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