Muscle Shoals


FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama was the unlikely breeding ground for a ton of hits in the 1960s and ’70s, by big names both black and white: Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Cliff, local singer Percy Sledge (“When a Man Loves a Woman”), Gregg Allman, Lynryd Skynyrd, The Rolling Stones and many more. Some of the most important and resonant songs of all time were recorded there, including “I’ll Take You There,” “Brown Sugar,” “Mustang Sally,” “Tell Mama,” “Kodachrome” and “Freebird.” FAME founder Rick Hall, who achieved much in his driven life, overcoming staggering tragedies, is responsible for creating the “Muscle Shoals sound.” He brought black and white together in Alabama’s cauldron of racial hostility to craft some of America‚Äôs most creative and defiant music, music that has endured for generations. Crammed with generous musical clips and fascinating anecdotes, Muscle Shoals is a crowd-pleasing feast of music and cultural history. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bono, Clarence Carter, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Paul Simon, Steve Winwood and others bear witness to Muscle Shoals’ magnetism and mystery, and why it remains influential today. (Dir. by Greg Camalier, 2013, USA, 111 mins., Rated PG, Magnolia Pictures) Digital