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Muscle Shoals Sound Studio:: How the Swampers Changed American Music Paperback – July 22, 2014

4.1 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers. And they've been known to pick a song or two"
--Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sweet Home Alabama
An estimated four hundred gold records have been recorded in the Muscle Shoals area. Many of those are thanks to Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, dubbed "the Swampers." Some of the greatest names in rock, R&B and blues laid tracks in the original, iconic concrete-block building--the likes of Cher, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Rolling Stones and the Black Keys. The National Register of Historic Places now recognizes that building, where Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded the original version of "Free Bird" and the Rolling Stones wrote "Brown Sugar" and "Wild Horses." By combing through decades of articles and music reviews related to Muscle Shoals Sound, music writer Carla Jean Whitley reconstructs the fascinating history of how the Alabama studio created a sound that reverberates across generations.

About the Author

Carla Jean Whitley is a writer, editor and teacher based in Birmingham, Alabama, where she is managing editor of Birmingham magazine. Carla Jean founded the music blog Birmingham Box Set, and has also written for BookPage, Paste, The Birmingham News, Sky and a variety of other magazines and newspapers. Carla Jean volunteers with literacy organizations and teaches journalism at the University of Alabama and Samford University. Her favorite yoga pose is bakasana and her favorite cats are orange. Connect with her at carlajeanwhitley.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (July 22, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1626192391
  • ISBN-13: 978-1626192393
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #736,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautifully written, for somebody that wrote their first book! Carla Jean Whitley absolutely shines all the way through. Fantastically written (loving job) and beautifully researched. Her heart was really in it. And she's local person, Alabamian anyway, unlike Bono! Why did they even put him in the movie? What does Bono knows about Muscle Shoals? He never even recorded there and now he's an expert?
FYI For some reason this book went very quickly out of print and it was going for as much as $100 around Christmas time! That's if you can even find it! Now that is ridiculous. It also was available by Barns & Nobles (going out of business this year) by print on demand for $85 + shipping! Please issue a second printing! And I would love to have Hard Binding that was never issued.
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Format: Paperback
Interesting book about an authentic Alabama institution. Needed better editing. I've never heard of Buffalo Springsteen (pg 32); Duane Allman was known as "Skydog" even though Wilson Pickett had a personal nickname for him of "Skyman" (pg 29). The author appears to be correct, but every Allman fan is immediately going to take issue with her. A little more explanation would have helped.

That being said, this was a well-written, informative book about a fascinating story of how Muscle Shoals, Alabama influenced the recording world. Any music fan will tear through this book and then spend hours on YouTube reliving the magic of the music.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a wonderful little book. It's an easy read, and covers the history of the music made there very well. The "Swampers" incredible careers are highlighted, and fairly detailed throughout the book. I was fortunate enough to buy this paperback from the author herself, and have her autograph it for me too! Carla Jean, was a pleasure to meet, and was a very genuine person indeed. But.... to really get the entire picture of everything that happened in Muscle Shoals, one must visit there. By all means plan a trip there, and drop by FAME Studio, and take the tour. You never know who you might run into. Jimmy Johnson (lead guitarist for the Swampers) was there at the Jackson Highway Studio when we were there, but I think it has since closed down. Either way, it's a great trip, with tremendous musical history!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not enough Duane, Stones, Dylan, Otis, Cher, etc. Stories interacting with the Locals...
Thanks for writing this and understanding the historical significance of what happened there, for some of us, music we want to hear forever, including our funerals!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Starts well. Fascinating history. Trails off badly.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Easy read with some interesting and good information. Enjoyed it. Some chapters didn't seem to be focused as much as they could be but overall good book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful tribute to the character & talent of the South....who's given us a fabulous legacy of music and brotherhood!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband is a sound guy and really liked this book. Gave it to him as a gift.
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