Muscle Shoals, a must-see and listen to documentary, begins in the late 1950s. Rick Hall, a local musician, is let go from his band for being all work and no play. He opens FAME Studios in Florence, Alabama. At his second studio, in Muscle Shoals, a sleepy little town located alongside the Tennessee River, Hall chalked up an instant hit with the first single recorded there: “You Better Move On” by Arthur Alexander; this would also become a 1964 U.K. success for the Rolling Stones, who later would also journey to Muscle Shoals. Some R&B breakthroughs, born from Hall’s studio, include Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman,” several tracks by Wilson Pickett, and the chain of hits that made Aretha Franklin a superstar after she’d been mismanaged and dropped by Columbia Records.
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