My Mom loves to tell me the story of how after watching “The Miracle Worker”, I walked around the house pretending to be blind for hours…lol . She should’ve known then that she had an actress under her roof. As we know, this film is the bio-pic of Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan. What we don’t know is that the well where Helen first learned to sign “water” is located in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama is the unlikely breeding ground for some of America’s most creative and defiant music. At its heart is Rick Hall who founded FAME Studios. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, Hall created the “Muscle Shoals sound” and The Swampers, the house band at FAME that eventually left to start their own successful studio, known as Muscle Shoals Sound. Greg Allman, Bono, Clarence Carter, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge and others bear witness to Muscle Shoals’ magnetism, mystery and why it remains influential today.
The legendary rock band Lynard Skynard actually has a lyric in “Sweet Home Alabama” that says “…muscle shoals has got the swampers…”
MUSCLE SHOALS is a documentary that lefts the veil off of a part of American music history only privy to those musicians and artists lucky enough to record there. It’s been said that everyone that records there comes away with a hit. Treat yourself, grab some popcorn and take a trip down to Muscle Shoals…you won’t regret it.