Tuscumbia in Colbert County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
The Blues Trail: Mississippi to Alabama
Muscle Shoals, although musical traditions are often defined in terms of state boundaries; musicians have traditionally ignored such arbitrary distinctions in their pursuit of their art and careers. This has certainly been the case for the 300-mile border shared by Alabama and Mississippi. W.C. Handy, known as “the father of the blues,” and Jimmie Rodgers, “the father of country music,” heard the blues while living and working in both states. Blues and soul performers Willie King, Eddy Clearwater, Peggy Scott-Adams, Big Ike Darby, Lucille Bogan, Sir Charles Jones, Bobo Jenkins, and Big Joe Williams also lived in both
Muscle Shoals became an important showcase for regional talent after Rich Hall opened his Fame studio here in 1959. On his Fame label Hall recorded local musicians as well as Mississippians James Govan, George Soule, and George Jackson. Muscle Shoals studios also became popular destinations for national labels, including Stax and Atlantic. Albums or singles by Mississippi-associated artists Albert King, the Staple Singers, Syl Johnson, Otis Rush, Otis Clay, Fenton Robinson, James Carr, and Big Joe Williams were recorded here, as were parts of B.B. King’s King of the Blues: 1989 album, which included a track produced by Alabama’s Frederick Knight.
Mississippi strengthened its connection with Muscle Shoals in 1985 when Jackson-based Malaco Records purchased the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, which was founded in 1969 by former Fame session musicians. Malaco co-owner Tommy Couch, a native of Tuscumbia, began his music career
Erected 2010 by National Endowment for the Arts. (Marker Number 99.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail marker series.
Location. 34° 42.903′ N, 87° 41.714′ W. Marker is in Tuscumbia, Alabama, in Colbert County. Marker is on U.S. 72. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 617 Highway 72 West, Tuscumbia AL 35674, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Tuscumbia's Oakwood Cemetery (approx. 0.6 miles away); Trenholm High School (approx. ¾ mile away); Sacred Tears (approx. 1.1 miles away); Jackson's Military Road (approx. 1.1 miles away); Cold Water Falls (approx. 1.1 miles away); Tuscumbia Big Spring (approx. 1.1 Petrified Conifer Tree / Petrified Lycopod Tree Stump (approx. 1.2 miles away); U. S. Army M60A3 Main Battle Tank (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tuscumbia.
Also see . . .
1. Encyclopedia of Alabama entry on Jerry "Boogie" McCain. (Submitted on December 19, 2012, by Laura Hill of Auburn, Alabama.)
2. Encyclopedia of Alabama entry on W. C. Handy. (Submitted on December 19, 2012, by Laura Hill of Auburn, Alabama.)
3. Encyclopedia of Alabama entry on Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. (Submitted on December 19, 2012, by Laura Hill of Auburn, Alabama.)
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 18, 2011, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 985 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 18, 2011, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Alabama, USA. 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on December 19, 2011, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Alabama, USA. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.