Documentary about the recording studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Director Greg Camalier travels to the landmark and explains how material recorded here has been an integral part of pop music from the 1950s until now. Founded by Rick Hall, FAME Studios was known as a place where black and white musicians would come together despite the racial tension which was prevalent in nearby areas.
The backing band for many of these recordings were local white musicians, known later as The Swampers, who then went on to set up their own recording studio - Muscle Shoals Sound - in competition with FAME. Artists who have recorded at Muscle Shoals and found success while contributing to both studios' growth include Clarence Carter, Aretha Franklin ('Respect'), Percy Sledge ('When a Man Loves a Woman'), Etta James, Candy Stanton, Lynyrd Skynyrd ('Sweet Home Alabama'), Jimmy Cliff, The Rolling Stones ('Wild Horses') and even The Osmonds.
Abstract Intro: Combining visual elements from reenactments of the native myth of the Singing River, W.C. Handy, and Helen Keller, this mysterious and intriguing segment was the original opening sequence to the film.
Aretha Call Me Session: Jimmy Johnson describes the magical and emotional experience of watching Aretha Franklin record the song Call Me live in the studio
Harvey Thompson: Former Muscle Shoals Horn Section member Harvey Thompson plays some lively tenor saxophone licks in a local bar.
Muscle Shoals Montage: Footage and location stills showcase southern culture, landscapes, and star musicians in the Muscle Shoals area.
Recording in Muscle Shoals: Muscle Shoals musicians describe the special experiences and unique aspects of the recording process in Muscle Shoals.
SpoonerOldham: Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section member Spooner Oldham plays the Wurlitzer and talks about his life experiences in the music business.
Candi Staton: Singer Candi Staton talk about her life experiences in the music business.
Swampers& Rick Reunion: Jimmy Johnson, David Hood, and Roger Hawkins sit down with Rick Hall in his office and share stories and thoughts about their lives and experiences together.
Donnie Fritts: Musician Donnie Fritts talks about his life experiences in the music business.