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» BREAKING NEWS, Featured » LEGENDARY RECORD PRODUCER/HENCHMAN AT MUSCLE SHOALS STUDIO, RICK HALL, DIES AT 85!

LEGENDARY RECORD PRODUCER/HENCHMAN AT MUSCLE SHOALS STUDIO, RICK HALL, DIES AT 85!

By Howard Campbell

Observer senior writer—–

 Rick Hall, the American producer whose vision made the Muscle Shoals sound from Alabama one of the most successful in music history, died in that southern state on January 2 at age 85.—
Aretha Franklin, Rick Hall & Musicians in studio.

Aretha Franklin, Rick Hall & Musicians in studio.

Hall’s colour-blind approach to music during a period when the American south was bitterly segregated, saw black and white artistes and musicians creating magic at Fame Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals. Aretha Franklin, Clarence Carter, Wilson Pickett, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and Lynyrd Skynrd recorded groundbreaking albums with the studio’s house band, nicknamed “The Swampers”.

Jimmy Cliff recorded his 1971 Island Records album, Life Cycle at Muscle Shoals. It included the hit song Sitting in Limbo which is also on the soundtrack to the 1972 hit film, The Harder They Come.

JimmyCLIFF:HarderTheyCome

Cliff paid tribute to Hall and his studio in the 2013 documentary, Muscle Shoals.

“At different points in time on this planet, there are certain places where there is a feel of energy. At this certain point in time, for a number of years, this was Muscle Shoals,” Cliff said.

In 1973, Island Records boss Chris Blackwell called on Muscle Shoals session guitarist Wayne Perkins to play the searing solo on Concrete Jungle, from Catch A Fire, The Wailers’ debut album for Island.

Rick Hall & Otis Redding

Rick Hall & Otis Redding

The genial Hall was born in Mississippi but grew up in neighbouring Alabama, where he was exposed to the region’s diverse music. He developed an appreciation for country, blues, soul and rhythm and blues, scoring hit songs in each genre even as segregation was rifethroughout those two states during the late 1950s when he established Fame.

Rick Hall & Clarence Carter

Rick Hall & Clarence Carter

Hall produced the 1970 hit song Patches for Carter, a blind singer from Alabama. He was partly responsible for bringing Franklin to Fame in 1967, to record the classic album, I Never Loved A Man The Way I Loved You.

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