• Charles Cherney

110: Rick Lee and the Muscle Shoals Sound

Today I stumbled upon Muscle Shoals (2013), an amazing documentary about Rick Lee and the music in the 1960s and 70s that came out of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, a small town with fewer than 10,000 residents.


Local studios – including Rick Lee's FAME Studio and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio - developed the funky R&B "Muscle Shoals Sound." The records they made constitute some of the most memorable music of the era. Ultimately, over 75 gold and platinum hits came out of Muscle Shoals. The list of artists who found their way to this small Southern town is long and illustrious.

Among the artists featured in the documentary are Jimmy Hughes, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, Jimmy Cliff, Percy Sledge, Clarence Carter, Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Bob Seger, the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynrd and Traffic. Any one of these artists are worthy of a story worth telling. All of them in the same place? Wow!


Find two hours to watch – and listen – to this extraordinary film:

I am already looking forward to watching this film again – and listening to many of the records recorded in Muscle Shoal in this era.