“The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME” isn’t the same telling of the FAME story you know. Rather, this story is about the impact Florence Alabama Music Enterprises, the recording studio and publishing company, had on the community that surrounded it and how it changed the next fifty years of music in Muscle Shoals. I couldn’t make all of the photos that I had at my disposal work in the book, and over the next couple of weeks, I’ll try to provide a little more context for this story with some of the photos that I couldn’t use.
The photo above is Hannah Aldridge with her dad, Walt. Hannah released one of my favorite records of 2014, Razor Wire, an album heavily influenced by the sounds of Drive-By Truckers and Jason Isbell rather than the sounds that her dad was creating with country music songwriting supergroup, The Shooters. Walt became one of the most prolific songwriters from Muscle Shoals in the 80s and 90s, penning a pile of major hits that you’ll read about in the book. He now teaches at UNA. Below is Jay Johnson with his dad, Jimmy. The latter was the guitarist for the Swampers, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. The former was in a string of bands throughout the 80s and 90s that you’ll read about in the book. There were always sessions, songwriting and original acts. Family bound all of them together.
I’ll be signing copies of “The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME” at Alabama Booksmith on June 29. They will have an exclusive hardcover edition of the book for sale, which you can reserve here. You can also preorder on Amazon here. I have also created a Spotify playlist that offers a little more context for the time period the book covers. Subscribe to it here.