Muscle Shoals
08-23-2015, 10:00 PM,
#1
Muscle Shoals
I just watched the documentary Muscle Shoals on Netflix.

I highly recommend it.



It's a remarkable history given this town had just 8K people (13K today).

It basically begins with some local teenagers learning how to become studio musicians from Rick Hall, a producer about ten years their senior who's determined to make it in the music business.

Their playing had a rawness to it ("we didn't know how to play smooth"). And the signature sound that developed was from closely mic-ing the drum and a prominent bass line.
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08-24-2015, 04:34 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-24-2015, 04:56 PM by Miguel.)
#2
RE: Muscle Shoals
I also watched The Wrecking Crew this weekend. It's about a small group of studio musicians on the west coast who played on many of the big rock-n-roll hits of the 1960s and early 1970s.

There are parallels between them and the Swampers:

-- They were both groups where the musicians played together every day while performing a variety of music

-- That made them very tight personally and musically

-- Prior to this time period, the music industry was based in NYC. The musicians there were more formally trained and would play the music as it was written

-- The Swampers and The Wrecking Crew often created arrangements or added embellishments on the fly. This gave the music more of a groove or feeling.



In the late 1960s, the Swampers left to form a rival studio in the Muscle Shoals area that was also wildly successful. The Wrecking Crew reached its end with the rise of singer-songwriters who brought with them their own bands.

The king of the WC session musicians was Tommy Tedesco. He was described by Guitar Player magazine as the most recorded guitarist in history, having played on thousands of recordings, many of which were top-20 hits.

Her performed this song on the Gong Show while wearing a pink tutu:



His son, who put together the Wrecking Crew documentary (using kickstarter to raise funds to pay for the music rights) in the YT comments:

Quote: DennyTedesco 4 years ago
This was recorded as a tongue in cheek song to his friends. He had won 4 straight NARAS awards as session guitar player in town and then Larry Carlton won the next year. So he sang this at the awards. He would have been 81 3 days ago. Miss him still



Sidenote: A young Aretha Franklin had made nine albums while under contract to Columbia Records but had remained commercially unsuccessful. They had produced a smooth sound for her that didn't capture the public's attention. Her new label brought her to Muscle Shoals. The Swampers and her didn't gel at first. They were struggling with the song she had brought. But someone improvised something and that sparked the others. It became her first hit and launched her to stardom.



They actually recorded most of her hits. This initial session ended abruptly when her ex-husband became enraged by a trombone player who was flirting with her. Her manager said he would bury the studio. He subsequently relented though and flew the Swampers to NYC where they produced other songs, including this number:

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