Muscle Shoals, AL (August 10, 2015)—Long-planned renovations for the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio at 3614 Jackson Highway in Muscle Shoals, AL will begin later this month as part of a rekindled effort to preserve the facility that recorded the Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, Bob Seger, Linda Ronstadt, and many others.
Made possible through a grant from Beats by Dr. Dre (Beats), the audio brand co-founded by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, the renovation aims to include carefully staged construction that will render the studio structurally sound while preserving the ambience that made it so well known. Les Tillery of Fuqua & Partners Architects, B. H. Craig Construction and Michael Cronin Acoustic Construction have teamed together for the renovation, but will also try to minimize the amount of time the site will be closed to the public.
Muscle Shoals Music Foundation board member Rodney Hall spearheaded the foundation’s purchase of 3614 Jackson Highway from a private owner so that it could be operated by a nonprofit organization. “We are thrilled that this important piece of music history can be permanently restored and made available to the public,” said Hall. “The foundation was able to purchase the building through the generosity of private investors, like Gene Hamby, who understand the importance of preserving the legacy of Muscle Shoals Music.”
The studio was founded in 1969 by Swampers Jimmy Johnson, David Hood, Roger Hawkins and Barry Beckett. It became one of the most influential recording studios in the country, attracting artists such as the Willie Nelson, Cher, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, the Staples Singers, Art Garfunkel, Traffic, Cat Stevens, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many more. Since the 2013 release of the documentary Muscle Shoals, more than 20,000 music enthusiasts from throughout the world have made pilgrimages to the iconic studio.
“We are grateful to Beats for supporting our community’s efforts,” said MSMF Chairman Judy Hood. “Jimmy Iovine understands that the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio is magic and we are now protecting and preserving that distinct and authentic sound. The studio will be open to the public as well as to musicians for sessions. After the grand re-opening of the room that Keith Richards called ‘rock and roll heaven,’ we expect both hit records as well as selfies of visitors from all of the world to come out of the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.” Hood said the foundation has also purchased land behind the studio to be developed later as museum space or as a performance venue.
Muscle Shoals Music Foundation