Film / Music

MUSCLE SHOALS: Music Documentary 5 Stars


Muscle Shoals

If you think Motown was the recording studio that boosted Aretha Franklin’s career, you need to see this documentary, and learn where it really happened.

In the small town of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, one and then two sound studios (FAME Studios/Rick Hall and then later Muscle Shoals Recording Studio) recorded a multitude of hits — Aretha, Etta James, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, Gregg Allman, the Rolling Stones, Jimmy Cliff, the original version of Lynyrd Skynyrd Free Bird, all with the help of studio musicians monikered THE SWAMPERS by Lynyrd Skynyrd in SWEET HOME ALABAMA. The name stuck. The group eventually left FAME Studios and opened Muscle Shoals Recording Studio.


Rick Hall at FAME Recording Studios. Carol M. HighsmithThe George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress.


THE SWAMPERS. Barry Beckett, Jimmy Johnson, David Hood, Roger Hawkins (photo credit  unknown)

MUSCLE SHOALS by Magnolia Pictures (2013) 111 minutes
Directed by Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier



While you’ve got the popcorn made, be sure to see this one too:

Wrecking Crew/Carol Kaye: Studio Musician




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