This week on Cyprus Avenue, the sound of Muscle Shoals FAME Studios. Featuring Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Etta James and more.
FAME Studios was established in 1959 in Florence, Alabama, but moved its location to Muscle Shoals shortly after, in 1961. It was the first of eight recording studios in the Quad Cities to put out a hit record--Arthur Alexander, who was working as a bellhop at the time, cut his record "You'd Better Move On" at FAME in 1961.
The Quad Cities quickly became a third musical hub in the South, along with Nashville and Memphis. They became know for the "Muscle Shoals Sound," defined largely by the soulful array of music produced by local studios, which spanned the country and blues genres. From its inception, FAME Studios has worked with a diverse mix of musicians, from Etta James to Paul Simon to Shenandoah.
This week's Cyprus Avenue reviews soul and R&B hits recorded at FAME from 1961-1973. Videos courtesy of YouTube showcase song samples from Bill Shapiro's playlist below.
Arthur Alexander/You’d Better Move On
Joe Tex/Hold On To What You’ve GotDel Rays/Fortune Teller
Bobby Moore & The Rhythm Aces/Searching For My Love
James & Bobby Purify/I’m Your Puppet
Terry Woodford/Gonna Make You Say Yeah
Wilson Pickett/Land of A 1000 Dances
Otis Redding/You Left The Water Running
Arthur Conley/Sweet Soul Music
Aretha Franklin/Never Loved A Man
Clarence Carter/Slip Away
Etta James/Tell Mama
Spencer Wiggins/I’d Rather Go Blind
Terry & The Chain Reaction/Keep Your Cool