As an almost obsessive reader of album liner notes (remember them?) I was aware of something called the “Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section”, and of course I was aware of the reference to Muscle Shoals in “Sweet Home Alabama”. I may have even pulled out an atlas at one point (remember them?) and looked up the actual location of Muscle Shoals but that was about as far as it went for many years. Then one day while idly flipping through channels I stumbled upon the documentary “Muscle Shoals”. I was immediately riveted, and searched the PVR listings to find out whether I could see the whole thing. Fortunately, I could. I loved it so much that I had to own it, and have since procured a copy (thank you, Amazon).
I found the documentary absolutely fascinating, and I suspect that anyone who enjoys rock music would agree. I had no idea of the amount and variety of music that had come out of those little studios in an out-of-the-way corner of Alabama. Since I needed material for the radio show I hit upon the idea of the “virtual field trip” – from time to time we would do a feature on a particular place like this. I had started to pull together material about the Abbey Road studios, and about the Sound City studios in Los Angeles among others. Alas, it wasn’t to be since the radio station went off the air before we could do more.
So what is left is the archive of our one and only virtual field trip to Muscle Shoals Alabama. You will hear stories of bellhops and hospital orderlies that became singing stars, the only artist to ever be covered by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan, the kick-start of the career of the Queen of Soul, the birth of Southern rock ‘n roll and of some of the most skilled musicians to ever work in the field. Of course because it was Richard and I doing “Song of the Day” there were the usual digressions on random topics such as Richard’s dancing ability, other uses for medicine bottles, unusual businesses in Kingston Jamaica, and how we would fare in a foot race against Bob Seger (hint: quite badly).
Enjoy the episodes, and seek out the documentary if you can. It is well worth your time.
(And here is a link to the documentary: Muscle Shoals
On a regular basis I receive new release CD's. Many of these come from up-and-coming artists. I've been pondering what to do with them. The solution has been found! Shortly I'll be opening up a new playlist, Post-Modern Music. (And no, it not the genre.) Here I'll post a sample from the CD, some comments and then contact information as provided. (iTunes links, Facebook and websites.)
I'm bringing in some help, with me will be SuperiorJello. She hosted the "It Came from the Geek" show on CIDO FM.
Should be fun!
If you check the episode list you will discover that most weeks were organized (if you can call it that) around an informal “theme”. We looked at songs about animals, telephones, transportation – all manner of things. There was no particular reason why, other than that it amused me and I could sometimes find unusual links between songs in that way.
Another thing that you will notice is that occasionally segments veer off on tangents, or even start out that way. That is all my fault. I have a love of trivial information generally, not just music trivia. That is how we end up talking about Gerry Anderson’s marionette shows, early 19th century land surveying problems, Hurricane Katrina, ‘70s television programs, the Spanish Armada, the end of the world, and celebrity pets. We also featured different musical instruments from time to time. We even occasionally visited what I called “the Audio Twilight Zone” – unusual music that ran the gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous. Richard mostly succeeded in keeping me on track. We were not particularly controversial, though there were some derogatory references to Justin Bieber, I did accuse Cher of ruining modern popular music (though I never explained why – perhaps someday I will, stay tuned) and I did in the same week accuse both Andy Williams’ father and Tipper Gore of making poor parenting choices. You will have to listen to find out why.