Defying divisions of class, race, and sound on the way to the American Dream.
An excellent essay. An excellent rendition of American music heros. I was reading along and was going to suggest one of my favorite songs the Wilson Pickett/Duane Allman collaboration and you included it. Duane Allman began playing guitar at 14 and he never stopped. Amazingly he had only been playing 8 -9 years when he worked with Pickett. Eric Clapton wrote in his autobiography Duane Allman was the "musical brother I'd never had but wished I did." His solo on "Layla" was haunting and beautiful. Dead at only 24!
Great piece. The success of Muscle Shoals reminds my of how User Generated Content, such as on Substack, has given opportunities to people whom the leftists gatekeepers would have denied a voice.
"Well I heard mister young sing about her
"Well, I heard ole Neil put her down
"Well, I hope Neil young will remember
"A southern man don't need him around anyhow."
I grew up about 20 minutes away from the quad cities (you forgot Tuscumbia) and loved the music that came out of there. It was 10 years after Anna was cut that my friends and I realized how close we lived to Music greatness.
There must have been a lot of research in this story, thank you. I remember seeing the documentary you mentioned and it was super fun. We are in need of more great art!
Jenna, thanks for this post. I've always loved that Stax/Volt and Muscle Shoals soul sound. Now I've got to dig out my old Otis and Wilson Pickett records.
As an aside, have you watched the documentary on ZZ Top, "That Little Ol' Band From Texas"? worth your time if you haven't.
A great essay: I've always heard about Muscle Shoals; but you taught me a lot. Thank you.
Well Done , positive , and fun to read!!!
Keep writing ✅™️