Turbulent waters and the shoals presented a constant challenge to tame the Tennessee River and contributed, combined and helped to create a unique place in the history of American popular music.  The mighty Tennessee has been harnessed and it is said that the Tennessee continues to sing with a voice of an Indian Princess, and that her songs will never fade as long as man builds his home and earns his bread along the banks of the Tennessee River that flows through our Muscle Shoals.

The Beautiful Tennessee River

In modern times, the recording industry in Florence, AL began when James Joiner opened the first studio, Tune, in 1956, followed by SPAR in the late 1950s, and by Florence Alabama Music Enterprise (FAME) in 1959.  Contemporary studios include Gary Baker’s Noise Block and John Paul White’s Single Lock Records.  The Gold Record Room in the first floor of the Sun Trust Building in downtown Florence is open to the public and exhibits gold records, music, clothing, instruments, and other memorabilia from the industry.


The Gold Record Room

Musicians are important contributors to the cultural image and the economic history of Florence, AL.  A partial list of musicians and musical families from the Muscle Shoals region include:

Muscle Shoals
Aaron Montgomery 3 Wheel Drive Ann Bevis Andrew Wright Becky Bluefield Angela Hacker
Aaron Sain Al Cartee Anna Lisa Graham Arthur Alexander Becky Ferguson Eddie Martin
Adam’s House Cat Al Lester Beth Boshears Ava Aldridge Carl Holder J.W. Herron
Alan Schulman Alicia Elliott Betty Dardess Barry Billings David Briggs Lee Clayton
Andrew Lane Barry Beckett Bill Rickard Betty Dardess Duncan Cameron Melvin Hallmark
Ann Foster Bebop Evans Bobby Denton Bill Cofield Iron Horse Pete Green
Autrey Inman Billy Lawson Bobby Whitlock Blue Seal Pals Jason Grigsby Zack Hacker
Becky Belew Billy Lynn Dale Tatum Bob Wray Jerry Clemmons
Bill Blackburn Boyd Bennett Dick Cooper Broadway Sound John Briggs
Bill Cantrell Chalmers Davis Dixie C. Griffin Buddy Draper Keith Henry
Bill Foster Christian Turner George Lair Celia Fago Donahue Mark Naramore Bobby Denton
Billy Lawson Clayton Ivey Jimmy “BeBop” Evans Charles Rose Mike Curtis Leon Bass
Bob Garfrerick Counts Brothers Jordan Denton Chris Anderson Smitty Gatlin
Bob Wray David Hood Marty Rabon Christopher Joel Carter
Bobby Gooch Del Rays Mike Cooley David Johnson
Brad Guin Dixie Gentlemen Mike Curtis David Mackay Bibi Black Jimmy Hughes
Buddy Killen Don Srygley Tommy Couch Dexter Johnson Billy C Farlow Lefty Bates
Butler Twins FAME Donna Godchaux Charlie Hodge Percy Sledge
C.W. Perkins Gary Nichols Donna Thatcher Dean Jones
Carl Montgomery Harrison Calloway
Red Bay
Eddie Struzick Dennis Clifton
Celia Fago Jake Landers Edie Hand Fred Bevis Frances Moss
Green Hill
Charles Senn Jerry Masters Jenny Strickland Gary Armstrong Glenn Spiller Chris Tompkins
Chris Quillen Johnny Belew Jerry Bridges Gary Baker Gordon Terry Jason Isbell
Christine Gentry Larry McWilliams MacMcAnally George Soule Hurricane Creek Norbert Putnam
Cindy Richardson Mark Hall Steve Moore Hershel Sizemore Jeriel Parker Norman Hill
Cindy Walker-Richardson Mickey Buckins Tammy Wynette Jay Johnson Jerry Countryman
Clarence Butler Monkey Wammack Jimmy Johnson Johnny Sandlin
Clay T. Myers MS Horns Jimmy Nutt Mitch Rigel
Constanec Perkins Jr. N C Thurman
Lee Daley Perry Stephens Neal Owens
Curtis Butler Pete Carr Phillip White Lenny LeBlanc Sam Timberlake Orr Family
Dan Penn Radio Tokyo Randy McCormick Mac McAnally Tim Johnson Orr Sisters
Dave O’Connor Ralph Ezell Red Marlow Max Russell Tom Swatzer
David Askew Randy Poe Ricky Rogers MS Rhythm Section William McClung
David MacKay Robert Byrne Secret Sisters MS Sound
Center Star
Dillon Hodges Ron Ballew Peanutt Montgomery Spooner Oldham
Donna Jean Godchaux Ronnie Eades Quin Ivey
Mark Naramore
Donnie Fritts Rual Yarborough
Town Creek
Randy Cutlip Anglin Brothers
Donny Lowery Scott Boyer Brad Crisler Robert Burse Blake Daniel
Earl Hicks Scott Boyer III Dwight Taylor Roger Hawkins Delmore Brothers
Edd Jones Shenandoah Mack Vickery Roy Aldridge Edsel Holden Jimmy Lovelace
Eddie Goodwin Shooters Marlin Greene Shane Baker Jake Hess Kenneth Lovelace
Eddie Griggs Showdown Stan Munsey, Jr. Patti Malone Ray Lovelace
Edna Carter Steve Nathan Terry Woodford Roger Murrah
Edsel Holden Sue Richards
Tommy Martin Steve Kimbrough
Eli Flippen Terry Woodford Woody Richardson Tony Fago Thomas Cain
Ferris York & Sledge The Decoys
Willie Ruff
Floyd McClure The Swampers Woodrich Studio
Frank Johnson Tommy Brasfield 3614 Jackson Highway Recording Studio/Muscle Shaols Studio
Gary Baker Travis Wammack Broadway Sound
George Jones Vassar Clements Cactus Studios
Georgia Chellman Wayne Cheney Dexter Johnson Studio
Grady Smith
Nor-Ala Studio
Gregg Hamm East Avalon Recording Studio The Nutt House
Harvey Thompson FAME Widget Studio
Harvey Thompson Jr. Joe Wilson Records
Homer Smith Music Hill Studio
Hugh Banks
Jacob Lovell
Jake Berry
Phil Campbell
Lawrenceburg, TN
Wayne Co., TN
James Hooker Joel Rainey Billy Sherrill J.W. Vaughn Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery
James Joiner Stewart Weston Rick Hall
James LeBlanc
Jamie Barrier
Janna Malone
Loretto, TN
Jerry Carrigan Robert Montgomery Delmore Brothers Tony & Grace
Jerry Phillips
Jerry Weaver
Jim Fago
Jimmy Hughes
Jimmy Simpson
Joey Flippen
Joey Holder
John B. “Jack” Peck
John Calvert
John Green
John Paul White
John Wyker
Johnny Wyker
Judd Phillips
Junior Lowe
Keevel Hendon
Kelso Hurston
Kelvin Holly
Kenneth Lovelace
Kerry Gilbert
Kevin Lamb
Kim Tribble
Kinny Mims
Knox Phillips
Lenny LeBlanc
Lenora Gray
Local Saints
Lyman Mitchell
Marie Lewey
Marsha Thornton
Marty Morrison
Mary Carter
Mary Mason Band
Melba Montgomery
Melissa Foster
Mike Shepherd
Milton Sledge
Natalie Askew
Patterson Hood
Pine Hill Haints
Quinton Claunch
Rachel Wammack
Randy Poe
Red Mouth
Rick Hall
Rob Carnegie
Rob Malone
Robert Palmer
Roger Briggs
Roger Clark
Roger Hamilton
Ronnie Oldham
Roy McDowell
Russell Mefford
Sam Phillips
Scooter Muse
Shane Baker
Sterling Boze
Steve Melton
Steve Stapler
Terry Thompson
The Bear & The Bride
Timmy Ray
Tom Risher
Tom Stafford
Tommy Martin
Tosha Hill
W. Carroll Quillen
W.C. Handy
Walt Aldridge
Wayne Sides
Will Foster
Will McFarlane
Noise Block
Singing River Records (UNA)
Spar Records
Tune Records


Musical Families: Second, Third and Fourth Generations:

Angela & Zack Hacker
Ava & Eddie Aldridge
Barry, Matthew & Mark Beckett
Bill, Melissa, Ann, Will, Nick Foster
Bobby & Jordan Denton
Butler Twins
Charles Rose & Edna Carter
Chip & Cody Geiser
Christine Gentry & Ken Lovelace
David & Patterson Hood
Dexter, Jimmy, Jay, JJ (Jason) Johnson
Donna Godchaux & David Mackay
Donnie Fritts & Father Huey Fritts
Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery Family
Edd & Lloyd Jones
Freeman Family (Brass Bands)
Freeman Family (Singing Schools)
Gary & Shane Baker
Grown Folks Band
Harvey & Buddy Thompson
James & Dillon LeBlanc
James & Libby Counts
Jamie Barrier/Pine Hill Haints/Clarabelle & Creeps
Jimmy & Angie Nutt
Joey & Eli Flippen
John & David Briggs
John Paul White & Tony White
Marie Osmond’s son Stephen Craig recorded here
Max & Kirk Russell
Nancy & Scooter Muse/ Chris Tompkins
Pete & Don Carr
Ray Brothers
Rick, Rodney & Mark Hall
Sam, Jerry, Judd, Knox Phillips
Secret Sisters (Laura & Lydia) & Ricky Rogers
Spooner Oldham & Mark Naramore
Terry Richardson & family
Tony Fago & Celia Donohue
Tonya & Kelvin Holly
Tonya Holley & Jennie Strickland
Tori & Bob Carl Bailey
Travis & Monkey Wammack
Walt & Hannah Aldridge
Will & Jamie McFarlane
Zion Rock Godchaux & Kinsman Mackay

Alabama Music Hall of Fame


The Department of Entertainment Industry is a stand-alone Department in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Alabama.  It has as its program objectives to provide a broad background for students who are entering the Entertainment Industry.  Recent Graduates have followed a career as Booking Agent, Record Promotion, Artist Management, Music Publisher, Road Manager, Studio Musician, Touring Musician, Songwriter, Music Supervisor, Recording Engineer, Studio Engineer, Studio Manager, Venue Manager, Concert Promoter, Recording Artist, Record Company Administration, Radio Promotion and others positions.

A robust music industry continues to thrive in Florence and The Muscle Shoals.  In recognition of the music heritage, The Patton Island Bridge on the Tennessee River between Florence and Sheffield opened to traffic in 2002 and was renamed the Singing River Bridge by resolution of the Alabama State Senate in 2010.

The Singing River Bridge