Wednesday, May 16, 2012

MSMA Newsletter

Welcome to the MSMA Newsletter!

We now have 367 subscribers to this newsletter including subscribers in the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden (shout out to our friends in Gothenburg) and Canada!  We are very excited to spread the word about Muscle Shoals Music.

The MSMA teamed up with UNA (Singing River Records) for a show at The Smokehouse last month featuring Doc Dailey & Magnolia Devil as well as Dylan LeBlanc.  The show was a big success!  Thanks to Doc Dailey & band (Is there just one Devil??), Dylan LeBlanc, Hannah Aldridge and Word Strickland for providing a great night of entertainment.  Thanks to David Mackay for providing the sound system and JJ at The Smokehouse for being so accommodating. Thanks to Bob Garfrerick and his students for planning and organizing the event.  We hope to have more events together in the future.

Our feature article for this month’s newsletter comes from Bobby Denton.  Bobby recently retired after serving over thirty years as an Alabama State Senator.  He has always been a huge supporter of Shoals area music.  He is a singer/songwriter himself and enjoyed success as an artist in the late 50’s (including performing on The Dick Clark Show).  You can learn more about Bobby by going to his website
We hope you enjoy “What A Life...How Lucky Can You Get!” by Bobby Denton.

photo of Bobby Denton

What A Life… How Lucky Can You Get!

By Bobby Denton     

Just a few of we old music lovers remember seeing Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys at the Allsburo School in west Colbert County.  We also saw, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs at the school in Barton.  This was a big deal having Grand Ole Opry Stars at these little community schools.

We old guys who love music are the most blessed people in the world.   We saw Elvis when he first came to the Shoals with Scotty and Bill driving a 1953 Chevrolet.  They did “That’s Alright Mama” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky” as a no-body guest on a Country Music Show at the Sheffield Community Center with several big names.  The crowd almost blew the roof off the place.  The guys from Nashville said, “Don’t ever book us with this Elvis boy again”.

Later, Elvis came back to the Sheffield Community Center and this time they were driving a Cadillac.  Elvis came with the latest talents discovered by the Shoals’ own Sam Phillips. We had never heard of any of them.  One was a skinny low singing boy named Johnny Cash.  The others were Carl Perkins and Warner Mack.  We had never heard music like these boys from Memphis played, but we knew we liked it and wanted more of it.

Then came Jerry Lee Lewis and we all knew that Sam Phillips with his brother Jud, who was a brilliant promoter, had changed music forever.  The world was getting hooked on “Rock and Roll” music and the Shoals played a big part. The Shoals was going to have a brand new industry that would be recognized around the world.

Now, fifty years later, Muscle Shoals Music is still very much alive and generation after generation is keeping it going.  The list of the people is long who began this wonderful industry here in the Shoals.  How many of these talented pioneers do you remember?  Autry Inman, Cowboy Ray and Dexter Johnson, James Joiner, Speedy McNutt, Junior Thompson, Buddy Killen, Tom Stafford, Terry Thompson, Joey Holder, Charlie Senn, Ava Aldridge, Rual Yarbrough, Hollis Dixon and many others who are no longer with us but will never be forgotten.

All the great people mentioned were the building blocks for our reputation in the music business.  However, not until our friend the “Moses of Muscle Shoals Music”, Rick Hall, led us out into the fields of music in a different way, did the Shoals hit the big time. Rick taught a new generation of kids, “The Swampers”, to play music his way and the “Muscle Shoals Sound” was born.

This new sound exploded from FAME studio into several others around the area.  They have recorded world-famous artists that have sold millions of records.  It makes me have a proud feeling knowing that the songs, singers, players, producers, and engineers from right here at home have accomplished so much.

David's Diary 

Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section Bassist David Hood has kept all of his work diaries from the mid-sixties to the present. Because they contain information that spotlights the rich history of Muscle Shoals Music, he will share one segment of his diary in this column each month.

by David Hood
On the week of May 5th through May 10th, 1969, Boz Scaggs came to the newly opened Muscle Shoals Sound Studio to record his first solo album. He had been a member of the Steve Miller Band. He came to FAME secretly a few months before to check out the rhythm section under the guise of being a reporter for Rolling Stone Magazine just to make sure he wanted to record with us. The album titled "Boz Scaggs" was produced by Boz, Rolling Stone Editor and Publisher Jann Wenner and Marlin Greene for Atlantic Records.
Personnel included: Duane Allman, Eddie Hinton, Jimmy Johnson and Boz Scaggs on guitars, Barry Beckett on keyboards, David Hood on bass, Roger Hawkins on drums, and Al Lester on fiddle. The horns were all from Memphis and consisted of Charles Chalmers, Floyd Newman, James Mitchell, and Joe Arnold on saxophone and Ben Cauley and Gene "Bowlegs" Miller on trumpet. Background vocals were provided by Jeannie Greene, Donna Thatcher, Mary Holiday, Sue Pilkington, Tracy Nelson, Irma Routen, and Joyce Dunn.
Initially the album was not a hit, but over the years it has become a very historic and collectible recording. The highlight of the album is the extended cut of "Loan Me A Dime" with Duane Allman's inspired slide guitar solo. 

MSMA 2012 Board
of Directors

Jimmy Nutt - President
Rodney Hall - Vice President
Larry Bowser - Sec/Treasurer
David Hood - Past President

Wiley Barnard
Dick Cooper
Nick Martin
Suzanne Bolton
Terry Pace
photo of The Civil Wars

Big Deal

The Civil Wars play Braves opening day show
The Secret Sisters and The Civil Wars have songs on The Hunger GamesSoundtrack

The Civil Wars perform on Jimmy Kimmel

BoomBox and The Civil Wars both sell out the Ogden Theater in Denver Co.

Northwest-Shoals Community College could buy Alabama Music Hall of Fame
photo of Mike McGuire & Quintin Demps 

In The Studio 

@The Cabin - Mike Curtis
Randy Travis (recording CBR theme song that airs on Fox Sports Network May 27th)

Judd Hall Band
Randy Owen
Candi Staton

@G-Legacy Recording Studio and Productions

Cookie Mane
Dynomite Kid
Bianca B

@MSMM - Donnie Gullett
Travis Wammack
Brand X
Demos for Tom Vandiver with James LeBlanc and Angela Hacker

Kevin Richardson
Kristen Hemphill
Ethan Bortnick

@The NuttHouse
Hannah Aldridge
Pat Huggins
The Fiddleworms
Demos for Mark Narmore, Spooner Oldham, Carl Holder, Gary Nichols, Mike Hilliard, Chuck Oden & Brad Crisler

@Studio 144 - Jay Burgess/John Springer
An Abstract Theory
Belle Adair

NFL defensive safety Quintin Demps (Houston Texans)
Rehearsals for Shenandoah's 2012 touring year
Songwriter demos for Bud McGuire, Mike McGuire, Rusty Moody, Marty Lewis, Ronnie Vines, Curtis Wright.  Jingles for KMOO/Hightower Bdcstg..Mineola, TX, WBCD Radio..Jasper, IN, KISS FM..Florence, AL, Cumulus Bdcstg..Tuscaloosa, AL, Southern Media..Pensacola, FL.

If you would like to be included in this column, submit your information to before the 7th of each month.

Big River Keep on Rollin'

Big River Broadcasting of Florence has been nominated in two categories for Radio Ink Digital Awards.

The station group is nominated for "Best Brand Extension through Streaming" for Muscle Shoals to Music Row Live.  In addition, WXFL-FM's Kix 96 Country is nominated for "Best Website Markets 100+".

The company won 2012 ABBY Awards for "Best Use of New Technology" for Muscle Shoals to Music Row and Medium Market Radio Website for WXFL's Kix 96 Country.

All the Radio Ink Digital Award winners will be announced at Convergence 12, to be held June 4-5 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley.


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To preserve and promote the legacy and future of Muscle Shoals music.

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