The University of North Alabama Pride of Dixie Band now includes not only the Marching Band, but also a Jazz Combo, Percussion Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, and Woodwind Ensemble. The department of Music offers solo performance training, conducting, theory, composition, vocal music and is a part of the Shoals Symphony at the University of North Alabama and offers an outstanding Music Education curriculum.
Venues which hosted musical and theatre performances included The Shoals Theatre, Florence Coliseum, Norwood Theatre, Coffee High School, Bradshaw High School, University of North Alabama, the Fairgrounds, Alabama Music Hall of Fame, and others.
Florence Lauderdale Coliseum
The extraordinary growth of the music industry in the second half of the 20th Century in the region became identified as the distinctive “Muscle Shoals Sound”.
Tune Records produce its first single “A Fallen Star” with Bobby Denton at WLAY Radio in 1957 and it becomes the first commercial recording made in Alabama and released to the general public.
Bobby Denton’s “A Fallen Star” record.
Tune founder, James Joiner, joins Tom Stafford to establish Spar Music in Florence in 1958.
The entrance to Spar Music Recording Studio.
James Joiner sells his interest in Spar Music and joins Rick Hall and Billy Sherrod to form Florence Alabama Music Enterprises (FAME) in 1959. In 1960 FAME moves to a facility in Muscle Shoals.
Studio engineers, session musician, studio musicians, touring musicians, arrangers, publishers, performers, and management form a solid base for the music and recording industry in The Muscle Shoals.
The music business program is established at the University of North Alabama in 1975, one of the earliest in the U.S. In addition to offering degrees in music, and expanding the curriculum to encompass the broader concept of the Entertainment Industry, Music Educators and performers are prepared as part of the education and liberal arts programs.
The Shoals Symphony at the University of North Alabama presents a season of concerts and educational programs annually.
The Alabama Legislature established the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1980, and the facility is built in nearby Tuscumbia.
The Alabama Music Hall of Fame
The Music Preservation Society, Inc. is established to present, preserve and promote the musical heritage of Northwest Alabama and presents the first W. C. Handy Music Festival to honor W.C. Handy in 1982.
Music is part of the tourism and festival identify of Florence, and includes other festivals incorporate music that enhances celebrations such as Frontier Days, the Renaissance Faire, Arts Alive, concerts in the park, celebrations in downtown, as well as in performance venues and theatres.
Community and school bands, choral groups, musical theatre, choirs and choral groups are part of the arts calendar.
Music has always been a part of the cultural fabric of the community, not just as entertainment, but more than that – it is part of the economic fabric of the community, the religious fabric of the community, the education community, the visitor experience, and the region’s history.