Sweet Soul Music - Dan Penn, Donnie Fritts, Eddie Hinton, Muscle Shoals sound in general, etc - C or C?

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Surprisingly few threads covering this. What are some of your favorite records to come out of FAME studios? Favorite tunes? Production jobs? Been on a big Donnie Fritts kick this weekend. Prone To Lean is killer.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Sunday, 20 March 2011 16:41 (ten years ago) link

Classic, of course, but often overlooked outside of random (and not so random) boosters such as the Drive-By Truckers, Neil Young, Nick Lowe and a few others. Gotta love the Staples' "I'll Take You There," Stones' "Wild Horses," among many, many others. The roll call here is kind of awe-inspiring:


Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 20 March 2011 17:42 (ten years ago) link

Good book pertaining to this subject is Get a Shot of Rhythm and Blues: The Arthur Alexander Story, by Richard Younger.

Suspicious Hive Minds (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 March 2011 20:50 (ten years ago) link

Better than you might expect:

Eddie Hinton's album of late demos 'Letter from Mississippi'

I'm Street but I Know my Roots (sonofstan), Sunday, 20 March 2011 22:03 (ten years ago) link

timely thread -- was just thinking about getting this
Sweet Inspiration - The Songs of Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham
1. OUT OF LEFT FIELD - Percy Sledge
2. I'M YOUR PUPPET - Dionne Warwick
3. SWEET INSPIRATION - The Sweet Inspirations
4. A WOMAN LEFT LONELY - Charlie Rich
6. I'M LIVING GOOD (VERSION 2) - The Ovations
7. TAKE ME (JUST AS I AM) - Solomon Burke
8. CRY LIKE A BABY - Arthur Alexander
9. IT TEARS ME UP - Jeanne Newman
10. SLIPPIN' AROUND - Art Freeman
11. I MET HER IN CHURCH - Tony Borders
14. EVERYTHING I AM - The Box Tops
15. FEED THE FLAME - Ted Taylor
17. IN THE SAME OLD WAY - Arthur Conley
18. DENVER - Ronnie Milsap
19. DREAMER - Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles
21. I NEED SOMEONE - The Wallace Brothers
22. HE AIN'T GONNA DO RIGHT - Barbara Lynn
24. LET'S DO IT OVER - Joe Simon


tylerw, Sunday, 20 March 2011 22:09 (ten years ago) link

Despite having lived in Muscle Shoals for six years, I'm woefully undereducated on the history outside of the big names that came through.

Used to eat in a diner right next door to FAME all the time, though. It was called Biscuit Village and it was fun to take a n00b there and just order one biscuit.

"Is one biscuit going to be enough?"
"You'll see."

And then they'd bring out a HUGE biscuit that was, no exaggeration, the size of the plate it was sitting on. I don't think I ever finished one.

They tore it down a few years ago and now a CVS is sitting there. A goddamn C V S!!!!

Johnny Fever, Sunday, 20 March 2011 22:13 (ten years ago) link

Mesage from amazon re that UK label compiled comp:
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available

curmudgeon, Monday, 21 March 2011 00:32 (ten years ago) link

Huh, no "Dark End of the Street" on that comp. Isn't that their ringer?

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 21 March 2011 00:41 (ten years ago) link

yeah that seemed weird to me, too. too predictable? i don't know. that and i'm your puppet are the big ones i think. comp still looks pretty rad.

tylerw, Monday, 21 March 2011 01:34 (ten years ago) link

two months pass...

Interview with Donnie Fritts, with some funny stories about his interactions with famous people : http://swampland.com/articles/view/title:funky_donnie_fritts_the_gritz_interview

Wow, the teenage Jonathan Rosenbaum that was hanging around during the early Muscle Shoals days was indeed the film critic of the same name.


curmudgeon, Sunday, 12 June 2011 21:49 (nine years ago) link

Other famous people originally from the Quad Cities: Sam Phillips and his brother Jud, who released the first Arthur Alexander single on his Judd Records, Helen Keller, who was born in Tuscumbia.

James & Bobby Quantify (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 12 June 2011 22:00 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...


Anyone managed to see this yet?

As a former Muscle Shoals resident for a most of the nineties, I feel like a doc of this nature is long overdue.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 19 February 2013 20:14 (eight years ago) link

Is another one of those awesome looking docs that never seem to get a release beyond the pitch-perfect trailer? See also: Big Star doc, Mekons doc, Wrecking Crew doc ...

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 19 February 2013 20:26 (eight years ago) link

This looks great, but yeah, the licensing hurdles don't bode well for a DVD release.

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Tuesday, 19 February 2013 20:52 (eight years ago) link

This getting stuck in licensing hell would be a crime against humanity imo.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 19 February 2013 20:59 (eight years ago) link


Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 19 February 2013 22:17 (eight years ago) link


Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 19 February 2013 22:20 (eight years ago) link

At least this one has a release pending ...


Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 19 February 2013 22:21 (eight years ago) link

three weeks pass...


Johnny Too Borad (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 13 March 2013 15:41 (eight years ago) link

three months pass...

Just saw the movie doc yesterday. Mostly good telling of the story and some great old clips plus recent interviews. Rick Hall has had some heartbreak in his life. Bad---too much Bono barely any Dan Penn; and not enough interview questions to the African-American artists re race issues.

Touching moment afterwards in the q & a with the director, when a woman stands up and says, "Hi, I'm Wilson Pickett's youngest daughter," and then she proceeds to thank the director for the portions of the movie regarding her father

curmudgeon, Monday, 24 June 2013 18:54 (seven years ago) link

Some great Aretha and Etta and Candi performance footage. Lots of anecdotes-- I did not know that "Respect" was recorded in NYC with the Muscle Shoals band (minus the horn player who Aretha's then husband believed was getting flirtatious with Aretha)

curmudgeon, Monday, 24 June 2013 18:58 (seven years ago) link

Ooh, can't wait to see it!

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Monday, 24 June 2013 19:00 (seven years ago) link

want to see!

how did i miss this thread? i love the donnie fritts album.

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Monday, 24 June 2013 19:05 (seven years ago) link

awesome, v excited

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 24 June 2013 19:06 (seven years ago) link

I saw it at the AFI Docs film fest, director said general release will happen in September

More anecdotes:
I did not know that Duane Allman encouraged Wilson Pickett to cover "Hey Jude".

A consulting producer on the film, writer Holly George-Warren, did a presentation at the EMP Pop Conference in New Orleans that went into way more detail re Arthur Alexander, great singer, produced by Rick Hall, who had songs covered by the Stones and Beatles and Bob Dylan. Mick and Keith do talk briefly in the doc about Arthur at least.

curmudgeon, Monday, 24 June 2013 19:07 (seven years ago) link

I need to listen to Donnie Fritts. Who is in the movie if I recall correctly.

Regretting that I never saw Wilson Pickett perform. The footage of him in this is great.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 25 June 2013 16:46 (seven years ago) link

I need to check and see if this will be screened in Muscle Shoals. I would think so, and if that's the case I might drive over and see it there.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 25 June 2013 16:50 (seven years ago) link

The director said they already did a special screening down there for some of the folks that are in the movie. Oh, the movie also devotes a fair amount of attention to the Allman Brothers and Lyrnard Skynard. "Sweet Home Alabama" plays over part of the closing credits. This part of the movie did not interest me as much (but that's my music tastes).

Was looking at "Muscle Shoals" in twitter, and saw a funny tweet from a college kid working at a CVS down there wondering why folks with British accents were in the store.

Also, this just happened:



Muscle Shoals Sound studio (the studio owned at one point by the musicians--not the Fame Studio of Rick Hall) has now been bought by the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation. The person who had owned it would not let the movie documentary folks inside.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 25 June 2013 18:48 (seven years ago) link

Muscle Shoal's Dan Penn re Bobby Bland (an old interview reposted)but he also talks a lot about the role of radio back then and what he discovered via it


curmudgeon, Wednesday, 26 June 2013 19:36 (seven years ago) link

When I was living there in the 90s, the original Muscle Shoals Sound building at 3614 Jackson Hwy was a run down washer-dryer repair and parts shop. It made me sad. The studio itself had moved to a larger structure a few miles away by then. I'm glad they're finally taking steps to preserve the original.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Wednesday, 26 June 2013 19:49 (seven years ago) link

three months pass...



Brooklyn, NY: Nitehawk 3
Chicago, IL: Landmark's Century Centre Cinema

Bridgeport, CT: Bijou Theatre

Miami, FL: O Cinema

Asbury Park, NJ: The ShowRoom
Berkeley, CA: Shattuck Cinemas 10
Cambridge, MA: Kendall Square Cinema 9
Minneapolis, MN: Lagoon Cinema
Nashville, TN: Belcourt Theatre
Philadelphia, PA: Ritz at the Bourse
San Diego, CA: Ken Cinema
San Francisco, CA: Opera Plaza Cinemas 4
Santa Fe, NM: The Screen
West Los Angeles, CA: Nuart Theatre

San Rafael, CA: Smith Rafael Film Center

Atlanta, GA: Midtown Art Cinemas 8
Bellingham, WA: Pickford Film Center 3
Birmingham, AL: Edge 12
Denver, CO: Chez Artiste
Durham, NC: Carolina Theatre - Durham
Florence, AL: Regency 12
Greensboro, NC: Geeksboro Coffeehouse Cinema
Little Rock, AR: Market Street Cinema
Palm Desert, CA: Cinemas Palme D'Or 7
Seattle, WA: Varsity Theatre
Tallahassee, FL: Tallahassee Film Society / All Saints Cinema
Washington, DC: West End Cinema
West Newton, MA: West Newton Cinema 6
Winston-Salem, NC: Aperture Cinema

Boulder, CO: Boedecker Theater

Milwaukee, WI: University of WI - Union Theatre

Asheville, NC: Carolina Asheville 14
Athens, GA: Cine Theatre
Mobile, AL: Crescent Theatre
Montgomery, AL: Capri Community Film Society
San Luis Obispo, CA: Palm Cinema

Bellingham, WA: Pickford Film Center 3
Charleston, SC: Terrace Theatre
Richmond, VA: Criterion Cinemas at Movieland

Ooltewah, TN: Barking Legs Theater

Boulder, CO: International Film Series

Albuquerque, NM: Guild
Lafayette, LA: Acadiana Center for the Arts

Fort Worth, TX: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Park City, UT: Park City Film Series

Houston, TX: The Museum of Fine Arts

Huntsville, AL: Flying Monkey Arts Center

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 04:16 (seven years ago) link

Go see it (despite the movie having some flaws)

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 18:34 (seven years ago) link

Tonight on Late Show with David Letterman, catch a special musical performance from the film Muscle Shoals, featuring R&B legend Candi Staton, Jason Isbell, John Paul White (The Civil Wars) and The Swampers (Spooner Oldham, Jimmy Johnson & David Hood). They will perform "I Ain't Easy To Love" which is featured in the Magnolia Pictures film Muscle Shoals, in theaters now & available on iTunes and On Demand everywhere.

curmudgeon, Friday, 4 October 2013 03:02 (seven years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Oh y'all, so good!

Johnny Fever, Sunday, 20 October 2013 21:29 (seven years ago) link

I won free tickets and saw it again.

curmudgeon, Monday, 21 October 2013 04:14 (seven years ago) link

kill Bono

Simon H., Monday, 21 October 2013 06:04 (seven years ago) link

I didn't mind anything Bono had to say, but his fucking stupid glasses were killing me.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 21 October 2013 06:05 (seven years ago) link

heard mixed reviews of this from a few friends.
one friend was real bummed that they didn't talk to penn/oldham abt their songwriting at all.

ian, Monday, 21 October 2013 22:30 (seven years ago) link

If you go into it with the knowledge that it's largely the story of Rick Hall and what was going on in his sphere, you'll realize that veering off into things like Penn and Oldham talking about the writing process didn't have any relevance to the story being told. Anecdotes, perhaps. But no real meaty content.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 21 October 2013 22:32 (seven years ago) link

yeah, i think it was a problem of her expectations w/r/t the film.

ian, Monday, 21 October 2013 22:36 (seven years ago) link

That said, I'd like to think there is A LOT of good interview excerpts that would show up on a dvd release.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 21 October 2013 22:37 (seven years ago) link

Joe McEwen talking about Dan Penn on Peter Guralnick's blog:


curmudgeon, Tuesday, 22 October 2013 18:09 (seven years ago) link

three weeks pass...

This is coming to my town next month, with a post-screening q&a with the director! Can't wait.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 13 November 2013 16:37 (seven years ago) link

If you go into it with the knowledge that it's largely the story of Rick Hall and what was going on in his sphere, you'll realize that veering off into things like Penn and Oldham talking about the writing process didn't have any relevance to the story being told. Anecdotes, perhaps. But no real meaty content.

― Johnny Fever, Monday, October 21, 2013

Not sure I buy this completely. I think adding more in about Hall benfited from Arthur Alexander's singing and songwriting early on; and about how Hall benefited from Penn/Oldham's writing and from Candi Staton and others vocals, would tell a fuller and more complete story about Rick Hall and the studio and region. Instead we got more Bono, plus Skynard.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 13 November 2013 16:55 (seven years ago) link

about how Hall benefited

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 13 November 2013 16:57 (seven years ago) link

You act like Bono was all over the film. He had probably a minute of screen time.

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 13 November 2013 17:00 (seven years ago) link


Soul fest in Italy this weekend

curmudgeon, Friday, 24 July 2015 18:12 (five years ago) link

six months pass...


20 minute movie doc on Donnie Fritts online here

curmudgeon, Sunday, 31 January 2016 22:19 (five years ago) link

Cool thanks.

You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Meme O RLY (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 31 January 2016 22:30 (five years ago) link

Yeah thanks, I really enjoyed that.

Tim, Monday, 1 February 2016 15:32 (five years ago) link

one month passes...

Here, NPR's Tom Moon claims that vintage journeyman Charles Bradley's new Changes moves past the Stax/Volt tropes of his first two, Daptones-backed albums, but, although the horns aren't as prominent, the reverb rhythm guitar and/or keys maybe move it from associations with '67 to dawn of the 70s, very cautiously. Which is fine when he occasionally creates an effective contrast with the relatively cool backing, or eases up just a bit himself--on the the final three tracks mainly---but most of the time he's singing too insistently, like "Notice Meeee, my time has finally come!", which is when I tend to notice that he's not a distinctive stylist, so get out of my face with the "drama," esp. when the songs aren't that distinguished either---the other albums aren't at hand, but seems like he did better when candidly or overtly writing from his own experience (getting past this is also supposed to be a refreshing step, claims Moon, lest the "well of experience runs dry" or something like that).
Mostly he wants to stay rough and wired, so maybe just speed it up more next time? Anyway, some of it's pretty okay, and more may grow on me: http://www.npr.org/2016/03/22/471312866/first-listen-charles-bradley-changes

dow, Wednesday, 30 March 2016 17:22 (five years ago) link

Oh, and speaking of Fritts, here's my Rolling Country 2015 take:

Spent most of my lunch break w Oh My Goodness, by Donnie Fritts, mostly known as a songwriter and Kristofferson's long-time keyboard player (saw him with KK in Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid, so yeah goes back pretty far). Not a good place to soak up the good vocal influences, so maybe that's why it took me a few tracks to get into this. Not that he sounds like his boss, but at times just a bit like a sub-Levon, sub-Bobby Charles, even---he knows how to phrase, but thin pipes can make him a little bit too Mr. Pitiful. Still, musical smarts win out, and he gets aboard the studio bus, which never seems crowded, despite having members of the Swampers, Alabama Shakes, St. Paul And The Broken Bones, John Paul White, even John Prine at one point. It's actually an intimate, mostly late night, sometimes slightly surreal setting, with Spooner Oldham's (and maybe Fritts', and even Will Oldham's) elegant keys, especially, suggesting early Randy Newman (or, you know, vice versa; Spooner's been around a long time too). "Lay It Down" is even a Sir Doug-worthy, anguished call (to self and other) for no-bullshit face-to-face. "Choo Choo Train" could even be a Newman---or Loaded-era VU---track. I think. It is a down home geezer album, but rec to those who like any of the musical associations mentioned, without being dependent on them.

dow, Wednesday, 30 March 2016 17:30 (five years ago) link

Tom Moon can get a bit over-enthusiastic about albums, in my view. I haven't heard the new Bradley yet though

curmudgeon, Thursday, 31 March 2016 14:01 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

May 30, 2017

In Stores July 28

1972 release is reissued with six bonus tracks, plus liner notes
from Barry Hansen (Dr. Demento and former Warner Bros. staff writer)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — When the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Humble Pie, Dusty Springfield, George Jones & Johnny Paycheck, Bob Dylan, the Bee Gees and countless other artists cover your songs, you must be on to something.

Arthur Alexander was a songwriter and song stylist whose first records in the early 1960s—such as “Anna (Go To Him)” and “You Better Move On”—were some of the earliest hits recorded at Rick Hall’s Fame Studios and to feature the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. After a short break at the end of the decade, Alexander released the second of only three albums that he made in his lifetime—a self-titled “comeback” album in 1972.

On July 28, 2017, Omnivore Recordings will reissue Arthur Alexander, expanded with six bonus tracks—two previously unissued.

With new liner notes by Barry Hansen (better known to most as Dr. Demento), the package also features the piece he wrote for the album’s original issue. Arthur Alexander’s 12 tracks were produced by Muscle Shoals bassist Tommy Gogbill, and include a version of “Burning Love”—covered by Elvis Presley shortly after the album’s release. Alexander’s two Warner Bros. follow-up singles are also here, as well as a pair of tracks from the original sessions, unearthed and unheard until now.

As Hansen wrote in the original notes, “Arthur is especially proud of the variety and versatility of his work on this album. All of it is strong medicine, and should be a fine antidote for a lot of bad scenes.”
He adds in the current notes, “[The Omnivore volume] honors the soulful wonderment that Arthur brought forth from his difficult time on earth. “
Arthur Alexander, inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, is a music legend. Arthur Alexander is a legendary recording.

Track Listing:
1. I’m Comin’ Home
2. It Hurts To Want It So Bad
3. Go On Home Girl
4. In The Middle Of It All
5. Burning Love
6. Rainbow Road
7. Love’s Where Life Begins
8. Down The Back Roads
9. Call Me Honey
10. Come Along With Me
11. Call Me In Tahiti
12. Thank God He Came 

Bonus Tracks:
13. Mr. John
14. You Got Me Knockin’
15. Lover Please
16. They’ll Do It Every Time
17. I Don’t Want Nobody
18. Simple Song Of Love 

Tracks 17 & 18 previously unissued 

# # #

Watch (and feel free to post) the Arthur Alexander trailer:

dow, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 22:55 (three years ago) link


I'm gonna go do a tour of the Fame and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio tours. Hopefully will be entertaining and educational and all that.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 27 July 2017 11:48 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

Enjoyed the tours. Fame Studio just has tours at 9am and 4 pm in the afternoon, and is a functioning studio in between tours and after. At 9 am we were waiting as the place was locked up. Then 2 interns showed followed a few minutes later by a guy saying how tired and hungover he was from a late-night session. He was an engineer there and the tourguide and the only one with a key.

curmudgeon, Monday, 28 August 2017 17:35 (three years ago) link

Thu. Sept 28 - Dan Penn - Vernon City Auditorium, Vernon, Alabama -


curmudgeon, Wednesday, 30 August 2017 05:17 (three years ago) link

four months pass...

Rick Hall, of Muscle Shoals/Fame Studios


curmudgeon, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 03:37 (three years ago) link

Charles Hughes writing in Country Soul re Rick Hall is a must read

curmudgeon, Thursday, 4 January 2018 04:01 (three years ago) link

I finally got around to talking to Donnie Fritts late last year: https://www.nashvillescene.com/music/nashville-cream/article/20985423/donnie-fritts-the-cream-interview

eddhurt, Thursday, 4 January 2018 19:13 (three years ago) link

Cool. Look forward to reading.

Charles Hughes writing in Country Soul re Rick Hall is a must read

Indeed. The story of “One Bad Apple” is the centerpiece of that book

The Harmony Illustrated Encyclopedia of Blecch (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 5 January 2018 02:16 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

Cover Me: The Eddie Hinton Songbook is an ace Ace import, easily findable for a nice price, on at least one ecommerce behemoth: Dusty Springfield, Bobby Womack, Aretha Franklin, Box Tops, Candi Staton, Sweet Inspirations, Tony Joe White, Cher, Lulu (both of whom do well (a duet might be even better), and a bunch of people I never heard of: one guy just walked in to sell a song, and the studio cats were like omg you gotta cut something, and he did and it's good but he sailed on somewhere---others are still in the biz, but not as singers,, and then there's an early protege of Bacharach and David (he doesn't sound like Dionne Warwick, maybe a little smooth but r&b for sure, and I want to hear him on some B&D songs.

Hinton's offerings can seem a bit generic at times, but they're usually good vehicles for better singers, and though his own voice (heard here on demo of "It's All Wrong But It's Alright"), is thin and he tends to strain it, otherwise canny phrasing provides a handy template for stronger vox, as compiler Tony Rounce points out in typically astute liner notes. Don't quite hear Left Banke in the one he does, but do hear it (as a joke on sensitive Southern Gothic x LB-type sentiment?) in some of "Poor Mary Has Drowned," as lead sung by The Brick Wall's Eddie Marshall, future daddy of Chan.
(speaking Hinton demos, the well-produced series on UK's Zane label is also worth checking out).
I don't like all of these---Willy Deville has always seemed tiresome, Don Varner's track is a Northern Soul fave, so what---but overall, oh mah soul.
track list:
1. Breakfast in Bed - Dusty Springfield
2. Down in Texas - Oscar Toney JR
3. Cover Me - Jackie Moore
4. A Little Bit Salty - Bobby Womack
5. Sure As Sin - Candi Staton
6. 300 Pounds of Hongry - Tony Joe White
7. Masquerade - Don Varner
8. Always David - the Sweet Inspirations
9. Poor Mary Has Drowned - Brick Wall
10. It's All Wrong But It's Alright - Eddie Hinton
11. Help Me Make It (Power of a Woman's Love) - Mink Deville
12. Save the Children - Cher
13. Every Natural Thing - Aretha Franklin
14. If I Had Let You in - the Box Tops
15. Satisfaction Guaranteed - Judy White
16. Standing on the Mountain - Percy Sledge
17. I Got the Feeling - the Amazing Rhythm Aces
18. Home for the Summer - the Hour Glass Featuring Greg and Duane Allman
19. Lay It on Me - Gwen McCrae
20. People in Love - Lou Johnson
21. Where You Come from - Bonnie Bramlett
22. Seventeen Year Old Girl - Mickey Buckins & the New Breed
23. Love Waits for No Man - Al Johnson
24. Where's Eddie - Lulu

dow, Friday, 1 February 2019 00:54 (two years ago) link

six months pass...

Aww. I need to check out Fritts most recent effort, a tribute to Arthur Alexander I believe. RIP

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 28 August 2019 18:59 (one year ago) link

hadn't heard of that one, will look it up, thanks. My take on his 2015 album is posted on this thread, along with Edd's link to his interview, and other Fritts links.From April of this year, here's a good two-part Alabama Arts Radio interview I should have already linked. (stream/download):
Pt. 1:
Pt. 2:

Spooner Oldham:

Rick Hall:

David Hood:

Jimmy Johnson:

dow, Thursday, 29 August 2019 18:01 (one year ago) link

Thanks for posting those links dow - working my way through them and enjoying them a lot.

Tim, Friday, 30 August 2019 12:43 (one year ago) link

Listening to Donnie Fritts album June: A Tribute to Arthur Alexander , from 2018. He's sounding like a more soulful Randy Newman on first couple of cuts

curmudgeon, Monday, 2 September 2019 21:21 (one year ago) link

Totally forgot about Arthur Alexander being called “June.” /pvmic

The Fearless Thread Killers (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 2 September 2019 21:42 (one year ago) link

Me too.

Some cuts sound a bit like The Band

curmudgeon, Monday, 2 September 2019 22:50 (one year ago) link

Donnie Fritts was a legend back home, and a guide for many of us when we started writing and making music. I met Prine while working on Donnie’s album, and when I met Kristofferson and Willie all I had to say was “I’m a friend of Donnie Fritts.” Very proud to be able to say that.
10:24 AM · Aug 28, 2019

dow, Wednesday, 4 September 2019 01:09 (one year ago) link

Aww man, now Jimmy Johnson of the Stompers at 66


Johnson recorded w/ Aretha; &
cuts by Etta James (“Tell Mama”), Wilson Pickett (“Mustang Sally,” “Land of a 1000 Dances”), Paul Simon ""Kodachrome," “Loves Me Like a Rock”), Staple Singers (“I’ll Take You There," ”Respect Yourself"), Jimmy Cliff (“The Harder They Come”); Arthur Conley “Sweet Soul Music “

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 10 September 2019 04:02 (one year ago) link

Age 76 not 66

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 10 September 2019 04:03 (one year ago) link

Quite an impressive list of songs he played on.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 03:26 (one year ago) link

Incredible list

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 13:33 (one year ago) link

Patterson Hood pieces on Donnie Fritts and Jimmy Johnson

Brad C., Wednesday, 11 September 2019 14:04 (one year ago) link

David Hood on Jimmy Johnson, as told to Matt Wake---looked a lot better in the News, but just keep scrolling past the ads---and at the very bottom, see links to Wake's in-depth overage of Roger Hawkins, also pieces about Fritts, Johnny Sandlin and maybe others:

Bham Newsman Mike Oliver's memory of a late and not so great Hinton gig:

Good interview w Dan Penn:

dow, Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:12 (one year ago) link

Johnson & Hood holding forth just a few months ago:

dow, Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:21 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

First listen to Reggie Young's Guitar Session Man has my headphones spinning: so much to take in, so much goodness coming at me from all directions, and would be so even if there weren't 24 tracks on one CD. Most thread-relevant elements noticed so far:
The only Muscle Shoals-recorded track is Little Milton's '02 version of Vince Gill's '90s country hit "Whenever You Come Around," here with a questing soul orchestra, layered and strong as the ones released like hounds in '60s Memphis, on the Box Tops' cover of Hank Snow's "I'm Movin' On" and Elvis's run with Percy Mayfield's "Stranger In My Own Hometown."
Most of this is from Memphis, incl. duh Dusty Springfield's performance of Gerry Goffin & Carole King's "Don't Forget About Me," which was on a single w the Fritts-written "Breakfast in Bed."
Fritts' KK bandmate Billy Swan rolls out of Nashville with a fast version of his own "Lover Please," a big late-doo wop hit for Clyde McPhatter :this take is more like what Ringo was doing at his 70s solo peak.
We also get the prime of James Carr, Solomom Burke, Bobby Blue Bland, and many others---my absolute fave rave at the moment is Jackie DeShannon's departure with "I Wanna Roo You," here a fast crashy waltz, mostly (slowing down for the bridge, but it's a set-up, like the mellow verses on "I'm Movin' On), and she's often, though not always, wailing the chorus as "I want to ruin ruin ruin you. Ruin you tonight."

dow, Tuesday, 22 October 2019 00:06 (one year ago) link


Beware of Mr. Blecch, er...what? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 22 October 2019 00:07 (one year ago) link

Yeah! And Ace Records annotator Bob Dunham mentions Young's hot solos on the Swan track as prob not the sort of thing released on Nashville product since Mac Gayden's previous work with Area Code 615, which reminds me that this selection is immediately followed by the Gayden-written "Morning Glory," vigorously presented by James & Bobby Purify---they and the Box Tops also did versions of "I'm Your Puppet," right?

dow, Tuesday, 22 October 2019 00:16 (one year ago) link

Yes. They had the hit on that one.

Beware of Mr. Blecch, er...what? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 22 October 2019 00:18 (one year ago) link

thanks discogs:

1 –Eddie Bond & His Stompers* Slip, Slip, Slippin' In
2 –Bill Black's Combo Carol
3 –Bobby Bland A Touch Of The Blues
4 –Jerry & Reggie* Dream Baby
5 –The Box Tops* I'm Movin' On
6 –Willie Mitchell The Champion - Part 1
7 –Solomon Burke Meet Me In Church
8 –Joe Tex Chicken Crazy
9 –King Curtis & The King Pins* In The Pocket
10 –James Carr More Love
11 –Dusty Springfield Don't Forget About Me
12 –Elvis Presley Stranger In My Own Home Town
13 –Jackie DeShannon I Wanna Roo You
14 –Dobie Gray Drift Away
15 –Sonny Curtis Rock'N Roll (I Gave You The Best Years Of My Life)
16 –Delbert McClinton Victim Of Life's Circumstances
17 –Billy Swan Lover Please
18 –James & Bobby Purify Morning Glory
19 –J.J. Cale Cocaine
20 –Merle Haggard I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink
21 –Waylon Jennings / Willie Nelson / Johnny Cash / Kris Kristofferson Highwayman
22 –Natalie Merchant Griselda
23 –Little Milton Whenever You Come Around
24 –Waylon Jennings Where Do We Go From Here

dow, Tuesday, 22 October 2019 00:19 (one year ago) link

The Joe Tex track is not up to several of his hits mentioned in the notes, where Dunham says they would have picked "Skinny Legs and All," but it's already on another Young-inclusive Ace comp,Memphis Boys. Damm it, whiiiine

dow, Tuesday, 22 October 2019 00:23 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

Judy Hood, self-dubbed "Swampette" (she's Mrs. David Hood), is now performing weddings* at Muscle Shoals Sound, still located at 3614 Jackson Highway---in the Before Times, revenue was mostly from studio tours, "merch sessions," fundraisers, and. oh yeah, recording---now not so much; they've had to augment. Base price for wedding experience(studio rental/ceremony): $400. Looks like fun, and something to keep in mind: https://www.al.com/life/2021/01/weddings-rock-at-iconic-muscle-shoals-recording-studio.html
*Judy: "I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a bona fide religious leader." She doesn't have to be! All you need to get married in Alabama now is a notarized contract (so nobody has to perform a gay marriage).

dow, Saturday, 23 January 2021 21:56 (three months ago) link

I did the tour there a few years ago. Did Fame studios first and then Muscle Shoals Sound. A fun, interesting day that was part of a great vacation that also included Nashville, Memphis, Clarksdale, and more .

curmudgeon, Sunday, 24 January 2021 05:32 (three months ago) link

Oh yeah, you saw the permanent Nashville Skyline exhibit, right? Think there's something like that, since installed, related to the Outlaws and Armadillos: Country's Roaring 70s comp.

dow, Sunday, 24 January 2021 18:35 (three months ago) link

Um, I don't think so re Nashville Skyline

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 26 January 2021 05:33 (three months ago) link

If I did see a Nashville Skyline exhibit, it would likely have been in Nashville or maybe Memphis . Although once saw a bunch of Jon Langford paintings of J Cash ( and Dylan too I think) at Other Music in NY. But not in Muscle Shoals.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 26 January 2021 19:09 (three months ago) link

Nashville Skyline exhibit, -- is that the Dylan exhibit at the Country Music HOF?

Washington Generals D-League affiliate (will), Tuesday, 26 January 2021 19:32 (three months ago) link

This is the one I meant, at the Country Music Hall of Fame: "Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats::


Much more here, though don't know how it went, with quarantine etc:

dow, Tuesday, 26 January 2021 22:49 (three months ago) link

two months pass...

Really appealing Memphis Commercial Appeal feature by Bob Mehr, re The Last Soul Company: The Story of Malaco Records, by Rob Bowman, ethnomusicologist and author of Soulsville U.S.A., a study of Stax. He also wrote the notes to a Malaco box in the 90s. That was for the label's 30th Anniversary--for the 50th, a Malaco co-founder pitched him the idea to write "a lavish coffee table book that would tell the company's complete history." (So it's authorized, I take it, but on this piece, Bowman doesn't always agree w co-founder's comments). "It's the longest-running independent record label in American musical history," RB mentions, and and Mehr specifies, "It's existed in various forms: first as a booking agency, then a recording studio, then home to a hot house band, and ultimately a record label that has flirted with and found success across a number of genres from soul-blues to gospel." Mississippi Fred McDowell, King Floyd, Jean Knight, Little Milton, Johnny Taylor, Denise LaSalle, and (I think) ZZ Hill, many more were on there, and the house band also recorded with the Pointer Sisters, Rufus Thomas, and Paul Simon as mentioned here.

dow, Monday, 29 March 2021 23:30 (one month ago) link

Oh, speaking of Nashville museums, the one of African-American Music is intriguing:

dow, Monday, 29 March 2021 23:34 (one month ago) link

And speaking of hit house bands, May will see a legit release of the Alex Chilton x Hi Rhythm live album, from a Memphis benefit show, Fredstock---details in here:
Alex Chilton S&D

dow, Monday, 29 March 2021 23:40 (one month ago) link

Just came scross ilxor Alfred Soto's most enticing review of latest Dusty re-collecion:

The Complete Atlantic Singles 1968-1971 collects most of the magisterial Dusty in Memphis (1969), its lesser follow-up A Brand New Me (1970), and a bevy of tracks orbiting the albums like lonely satellites. Yeah, it's all been scooped up before, but the way he describes so much of it, incl. what's highlit in "sparkling new mix," makes me want to get it: https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/dusty-springfield-the-complete-atlantic-singles-1968-1971/
Also liked "Old Soul, revisiting the sounds of Dusty Springfield, " in Feb. 8 New Yorker, much more than I usually do the writing of Amanda Pretrusich.

dow, Tuesday, 30 March 2021 22:10 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

Judging by "Boogie Shoes" on YouTube, most of the appeal of the Alex Chilton/Hi Rhythm live album might be insrumental, which reminds me: here they are with Terry Manning, better known as a producer and engineer at Ardent etc. but his rough-and-ready vocal approach works better with HRS live than Chilton's (comparing just one track to another):


dow, Sunday, 2 May 2021 17:58 (one week ago) link

(Chilton seems a bit cautious by comparison---their set was a one-off, but so was Manning's w HRS---filling in at the last minute for a no-show, and just taking the plunge, what the hell---this is the only live track on his album, and really seemed like the only keeper---according to the press sheet, he did a Box Tops Chilton parody for kicks, and was ordered to create an album around it, which mostly seemed like filler, but I didn't listen much)

dow, Sunday, 2 May 2021 18:08 (one week ago) link

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