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Rick Hall: "Muscle Shoals Sound" Producer Dies
Producer Rick Hall, who co-founded the iconic Fame Recording Studios in Alabama in the late 1950s and worked with stars such as Aretha Franklin, George Jones and Wilson Pickett, died Jan. 2 following a prolonged bout with cancer. He was 85 years old.
Considered the "Father of Muscle Shoals music," Hall established Fame Studios as a sought-after recording destination in the 1960s and 1970s, churning out classic recordings such as Franklin's "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)," Pickett's "Land Of A Thousand Dances" and Etta James' Tell Mama, among others.
In addition to iconic R&B artists such as Pickett, Franklin, James, and Otis Redding, Hall helmed recordings for pop artists such as Paul Anka, Tom Jones and the Osmonds, among others. Earlier in his career, he had songs recorded by the likes of Jones, Brenda Lee and Roy Orbison.
The Mississippi-born Hall received a GRAMMY nomination for Producer Of The Year at the 17th GRAMMY Awards in 1974.
The career trajectory of Hall and the musical legacy of Fame Studios was captured for posterity in the acclaimed 2013 documentary, Muscle Shoals. The historic studio, which is still in operation today, was the home for the recording of Gregg Allman's posthumous GRAMMY-nominated LP, 2017's Southern Blood.
"I can't possibly tell you how this affects me," GRAMMY winner John Paul White said regarding Hall's passing via Twitter. "This is the architect of the sound that made me the artist and writer I am today."
"Rick will be deeply missed, but his countless recordings and remarkable career achievements will continue to be celebrated for decades to come," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "Our thoughts are with his collaborators, family, and friends during this difficult time."