Muscle Shoals, Alabama has been a mecca for music lovers ever since it became a hub for the music industry in the ’60s. Now it will have a greater draw as the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studios has re-opened as a museum. The studio has been restored to its former glory for tours and will be a working recording facility in the coming months.
Muscle Shoals Sound Studios was founded in 1969 by the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, also known as the Swampers, which included bassist and session ace David Hood. He recorded numerous hits there including “I’ll Take You There” by the Staples Sisters, “Kodachrome” by Paul Simon, “If Loving You Is Wrong” by Luther Ingram, and many more. Scores of artists from every genre came to the studio to get the “Muscle Shoals Sound,” from Cher to the Rolling Stones to Willie Nelson to Lynyrd Skynyrd.
The Swampers moved their operations to a bigger facility in 1978, and Muscle Shoals Sound Studios changed hands a few times before being sold to the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation in 2013 with the intent of making it into a museum. The studio’s legacy is documented as part of the documentary “Muscle Shoals,” which the foundation credits with bringing awareness to the site’s importance.
“This has been a long time coming,” said foundation chairwoman Judy Hood. “We want to honor the history and sustain the legacy of the legendary Muscle Shoals sound.”
Muscle Shoals Sound Studios is officially open for tours Mondays through Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is $12 per person. For more info, check out the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation website.
Check out the “Muscle Shoals” trailer: