Through his work as a producer, songwriter and studio head Rick Hall and FAME Studios changed the face of R&B music in the ’60s and beyond.
Hall, who was lovingly referred to as the “Father of Muscle Shoals Music,” died this morning. He was 85.
As the founder and proprietor of FAME studios, Hall produced Muscle Shoals’ first hit, 1961’s “You Better Move On,” which was later made famous by the Rolling Stones. He produced countless records including Etta James’ Tell Mama and shepherded the careers of Clarence Carter, Wilson Pickett and more. “At the time, Muscle Shoals was the recording studio and the place where everybody went because it seemed like they were guaranteed,” Etta James told Relix in 2006, referring to her time at FAME. Other acts closely tied with Hall and Muscle Shoals include Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and Duane Allman.
In 1971 Hall was named World’s Producer of the Year by Billboard Magazine. In addition to writing a memoir entitled The Man from Muscle Shoals: My Journey from Shame to Fame, Hall was also featured in the 2013 documentary Muscle Shoals. He was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1985.