The documentary about the famed Alabama music studio where some of the greats of soul and rock & roll music recorded their biggest hits has been acquired by Magnolia Pictures according to a report at The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday.
The film is directed by Greg Camalier and includes, photos, archival footage and interviews with Hall who built the studio in the small Alabama town and created the Muscle Shoals sound after suffering through many personal tragedies. The documentary "Muscle Shoals" tells the story of a small town in Alabama located alongside the Tennessee River called Muscle Shoals.
At the heart of the film is Rick Hall who sat down this past Wednesday to speak with Examiner Dorri Olds. This fascinating documentary includes interviews with famous record producer Jerry Wexler and many musicians who have recorded in Muscle Shoals. Director Greg "Freddy" Camalier did an amazing job depicting an incredible time in American music. Aretha Franklin is one of many stars that talk about their early days recording in Muscle Shoals. On Thursday, September 19, Magnolia Pictures hosted a special New York screening of "Muscle Shoals." Many of the musicians interviewed in the film were in attendance. Dorri OldsNY Movie ExaminerMovie Critic Dorri Olds is a Manhattan-based award-winning freelance writer who was born obsessed with movies and celebrities.
If you’re a fan of rock n’ roll history, then you’ve probably heard of Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
The city—thanks to two legendary recording studios and a stable of unique behind-the-scenes talent—is synonymous with soulful authenticity. The new documentary Muscle Shoals, which opens this weekend at the Tivoli Cinemas in Westport (please check out their Kickstarter page to upgrade their projectors to digital and stay in business), posits that the spirit of community forged by the musicians that created this music was part of its magic, and listening to it in the movie, it’s hard to argue. The film, directed by Greg Camalier, is a pretty standard documentary full of talking-head interviews and archival photos.
Muscle Shoals doesn’t really go into the songwriting aspect at all, which is disappointing considering the amount of songwriting talent that surrounded the Muscle Shoals scene (Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn in particular), but its focus on the production side of things is noble, especially since trying to relate recording style and technique to an unfamiliar audience is a challenge.

Muscle Shoals has a fascinating story to tell, and while it may feel like a history lesson at times—especially to the uninitiated listener— it’s probably the best-sounding history lesson ever. In a tiny Alabama town with the curious name of Muscle Shoals, something miraculous sprang from the mud of the Tennessee River. The film tells us the unvarnished story of the rise and fall of both Rick Hall and the studio.
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Jagger, Richards, Clarence Carter, Bono and other artists also provide testimonials in the film. You'll find yourself tapping your feet and singing to the classic tunes in the movie soundtrack. His Faulknerian life of misery and hard won victories includes the founding of FAME studios where he created a haven for black and white musicians to come together in service of music. Rick Hall said, "One day Jerry [Wexler] called and said, 'I’m thinking about signing a new act. Gregg Allman, who tells heartbreaking stories in the film about his brother Duane Allman, was one of the musicians there.
She's written for a variety of publications including The New York Times and The Jewish Daily Forward and is a weekly contributor to Petside.
What you may not know is that the producer and band that backed up Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, and Wilson Pickett on their breakthrough records, are a bunch of white guys from the sticks.
They played and sang together with a soulfulness and respect for the music that united them all.
It puts the spotlight on the small, economically challenged river town that created the Muscle Shoals Sound and relates its iconic status as much to its environment as its talent. A group of unassuming, yet incredibly talented, locals came together and spawned some of the greatest music of all time: “Mustang Sally,” “I Never Loved a Man,” “Wild Horses,” and many more.

Classics like “Mustang Sally”, “Brown Sugar” and “I never loved a Man” were recorded at the studio with the house band called The Swampers. Sanders is a southern-based freelance writer with more than 10 years experience in journalism. According to local folklore, the "Singing River," as Native Americans called it, is the reason the music that came out of Muscle Shoals was incredible. Overcoming crushing poverty and personal tragedies, Hall became the father of the "Muscle Shoals Sound." Hall said he and the musicians at FAME were all colorblind despite Alabama's racial hostility at the time. Olds sees a dizzying number of movie screenings, interviews A-List actors and is a member of the exclusive organization American Society of Journalists & Authors (ASJA). The man singing was Percy Sledge, the band became known as The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, also known as The Swampers. Hall put together a band called The Swampers, and trained them to be excellent studio musicians. They can’t sell her records.' Jerry wanted to come to Muscle Shoals with Aretha and her husband, Ted White. Aretha Franklin, Rolling Stones, Bobby Gentry, Mac Davis, Jerry Reed, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Paul Simon - the list goes on and is utterly amazing. And all was fine and good, until Ted came in while I was recording with Aretha and said, 'I want the trumpet player fired.

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