Swamper Joins APT for MUSCLE SHOALS
Alabama Public Television Education

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Posted Nov 20, 2014

Swamper Joins APT for MUSCLE SHOALS

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Hit Film Returns to Public Television
Special Interviews with Swamper David Hood

Monday, November 24 at 8:00pm

MUSCLE SHOALS, the Sundance Award-winning film exploring “the small town with the big sound,” was a huge hit when it premiered on Alabama Public Television back in April. This week, APT will broadcast the program again as a lead-in to its December pledge drive, and one of Muscle Shoals’ famous Swampers is helping out.

Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama is the unlikely breeding ground for some of America’s most creative and defiant music. Under the spiritual influence of the “Singing River,” as Native Americans called it, Muscle Shoals is the birthplace of some of the most important and influential songs of all time, by artists ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Wilson Pickett, the Rolling Stones to Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys to the Civil Wars. At the heart of the Muscle Shoals phenomenon is visionary producer Rick Hall, who founded FAME Studios. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, Hall brought black and white together in Alabama’s cauldron of racial hostility to make music for the generations. He is responsible for the indelible “Muscle Shoals sound” and The Swampers, the house band at FAME that eventually left to start their own successful studio, known as Muscle Shoals Sound.

During breaks in the MUSCLE SHOALS film, the Swampers’ bass player, David Hood, sits down with APT’s Mike McKenzie at the historic Muscle Shoals Sound Studio at 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield to discuss some of the amazing music created there.  Hood and his fellow Swampers Barry Beckett (keyboards), Roger Hawkins (drums) and Jimmy Johnson (guitar) founded the studio in 1969. Hood talks about the development of the “Muscle Shoals Sound,” about working with the variety of musical talent who came to the studio, and what the Swampers are doing today.

MUSCLE SHOALS is a presentation of the PBS series INDEPENDENT LENS. 

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Muscle Shoals Sound Studio; Credit: Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

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