Episode 10: Charlie Chalmers

Episode 10: Charlie Chalmers

Son of a Preacher Man, Respect, Mustang Sally. What do they all have in common? Charlie Chalmers. On Episode Ten of Through These Doors: A FAME Studios Podcast, Rodney Hall welcomes sax legend, songwriter, and producer Charlie Chalmers. Listen in as Hall and Chalmers discuss what makes a great recording, touring with rock & roll legends, and stories from his days at FAME. Let’s get it on!

Watch Episode Ten

 

Listen to the audio-only version of Episode Ten

Episode 9: Bob Wray

Episode 9: Bob Wray

On Episode Nine of Through These Doors: A FAME Studios Podcast, Rodney Hall welcomes the legendary bassist Bob Wray. Listen in as Hall and Wray discuss his decades-long career which has included session work with Johnny Cash, Clarence Carter, The Osmonds, Roy Orbison, Bobby Womack, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Etta James, Alabama, Chuck Berry, Tony Joe White, Earl Thomas Conley, Jose Feliciano, BB King, Al Green, Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris, The Temptations, Wilson Pickett, Carl Perkins, Ray Charles, and many, many more.

Watch Episode Nine

 

Listen to the audio-only version of Episode Nine

Jason Isbell

Praised for his masterful poetics and tasty guitar playing, four-time GRAMMY® winner Jason Isbell is considered one of the great Americana artists of our time.

Growing up in Northern Alabama, he was surrounded by music and learned to play multiple instruments through his family, playing in the school band, and singing at the church where his grandfather also preached and played guitar. Isbell believes his Alabaman heritage greatly impacted his development as a musician saying, “I definitely don’t feel like I would be the musician that I am, or the type of songwriter, had I not come from that particular place.”

He put his heart and soul into playing music and performed at the Grand Ole Opry at the tender age of 16, Just five years later, he received a publishing deal with Rodney & Mark Hall as the first new writer of their recently acquired FAME Publishing company, beginning a fifteen year relationship that includes recording and writing as a member of The Drive-By Truckers on their albums Decorations Day, Dirty South, Blessing and a Curse as well as his solo albums Sirens of the Ditch, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Here We Rest, and Southeastern. Jason has also produced at FAME on the Blind Boys of Alabama track “Christmas in Dixie,” as well as a duet with John Paul White on “Old Flame”. Both of which were included on a tribute to the country supergroup Alabama. Jason and John Paul White were featured on a track with Candi Staton for the album Muscle Shoals-Small Town Big Sound”. The track would go on to be one of legendary producer Rick Hall’s final final productions. Isbell has said that working at FAME Studios meant everything to him, that it was a gateway towards the music that he wanted to play.

The name of his GRAMMY® winning band The 400 Unit is also deeply rooted in his time in Alabama. The 400 Unit is the name of a mental treatment facility in Florence, Alabama. As Isbell tells it, “About once a week they would drive downtown and take, I guess, the six or eight healthiest people in the facility and let ’em go downtown. Give ’em all like $15 apiece to go get some lunch. You’d immediately recognize who it was and why they were there; they all had nametags on, saying kinda strange stuff to everybody. And trying to get a sandwich at the same time,” adding, “When I started thinking about a band, and how we get to a new town and everybody gets $15 and gets out of the van, goes out and tries to get a sandwich, it kinda reminded me of that.” Both bassist Jimbo Hart and drummer Chad Gamble are Shoals area natives and have done a lot of studio session work at FAME outside of the 400 Unit over the last 20 years.

In addition to his four GRAMMY®s, Isbell has won nine Americana Music Honors and Awards and was the Country Music Hall-of-Fame Artist in Residence for 2017. He has also seen success across multiple genres as his album Something More Than Free debuted at number 1 on Billboard Magazine’s rock, folk and country record charts. Something More Than Free, Southeastern, and The Nashville Sound (with The 400 Unit) have sold nearly 150,000 copies each, with Southeastern being his most recently recorded album at Fame Studios. For The Nashville Sound (with The 400 Unit), Isbell garnered four peak chart positions in the United States and eight top-40 peak chart positions in Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Isbell is married to fellow Americana superstar Amanda Shires, co-founder of the Highwomen, and the two share a daughter together. He is an avid player and collector of guitars. He believes a special guitar “…is one that fulfills its purpose in design,” and discussed some of his vintage guitars with Guitar World in 2020. He currently owns roughly 50 to 60 guitars including a ’53 Les Paul gold top, a ’59 ‘burst dubbed “Red Eye” that once belonged to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Ed King, a ’65 Tele, a ’60 Strat, a ’61 ES-335, a Gretsch White Falcon given to him by John Prine, a mid-50s Martin D-18, and more in his collection.

Outside of his musical career, Isbell has also seen success in acting with his first role being in 2016 providing the voice for pastor Kyle Nubbins in the animated television series Squidbillies. In 2021, Isbell earned his biggest role in the upcoming Martin Scorsese film Killers of the Flower Moon.

In 2019, Jason along with his manager, Traci Thomas gave the Shoals some love and launched their music festival, Shoalsfest. The festival has hosted thousands of fans to shows with artists like Sheryl Crow, Mavis Staples, Candi Staton, Drive By Truckers, Amanda Shires and Lucinda Williams and is one of the premier events in the Shoals musical calendar..

A loving husband, father, and other-worldly musician, Jason Isbell has achieved global success on a level that we at FAME knew was possible. Jason will always have a special place in our hearts as a member of the FAME Gang and we’re excited to see him continue to make genre-defining and genre-expanding music in the future.

Episode 8: Walt Aldridge

Episode 8: Walt Aldridge

On Episode Eight of Through These Doors: A FAME Studios Podcast, Rodney Hall welcomes the great musician, singer, songwriter, engineer and record producer Walt Aldridge. Listen in as Hall and Aldridge discuss what it takes to write a #1 hit (Aldridge’s #1’s include “(There’s) No Gettin’ Over Me” by Ronnie Milsap (1981), ‘Till You’re Gone by Barbara Mandrell (1982), “Holding Her and Loving You” by Earl Thomas Conley (1982), “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde” by Travis Tritt (2000), and “I Loved Her First” (2006) by Heartland), and stories from his days working at FAME as a producer, songwriter and back-up musician, and what make Muscle Shoals such an incubator for hit records.

Watch Episode Eight

 

Listen to the audio-only version of Episode Eight

8 Track Entertainment Opens Doors In Muscle Shoals

For Immediate Release

8 TRACK ENTERTAINMENT OPENS DOORS IN MUSCLE SHOALS

ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL PARTNERSHIP WITH HISTORIC FAME RECORDING STUDIOS
FOR FUTURE MUSIC PROJECTS INCLUDING THE

“60th ANNIVERSARY OF FAME AND THE MUSCLE SHOALS SOUND” ALBUM

SIGNS GRAMMY® AWARD-WINNING GROUP SHENANDOAH TO
8 TRACK RECORDS

Muscle Shoals, AL (April 12, 2022)….Newly formed global entertainment company 8 Track Entertainment has entered into an inaugural partnership with historic Fame Recording Studios for future music projects, reveals the signing of Grammy® award-winning country stars Shenandoah and plans to release the “60th Anniversary Of FAME And The Muscle Shoals Sound” album. All projects will be distributed by Warner Music Group’s ADA via 8 Track Records, a division of 8 Track Entertainment. 8 Track Entertainment founding partners Noah Gordon/President, Jeff Goodwin/Vice President, Marketing & Partnerships and Bill Harbin/Vice President, Corporate Partnerships announced that the Alabama Corporation will be based in Muscle Shoals with satellite offices in Nashville, Tennessee.

“I am absolutely delighted to sign Shenandoah to 8 Track Records as Muscle Shoals is where it all began for this group at the outset of their career. They will return to FAME to record their next project scheduled for release in the coming months,” stated Gordon. “New music will also be coming from Ira Dean, LeBlanc Family Band, BoomTown Saints, and Ivas John. In addition, 8 Track and FAME have numerous co-ventures planned for the future including music publishing, TV/Film, touring/live events and music programs for community schools. We will be intentionally working with outside studios as the bigger movement is about Muscle Shoals and Alabama…not only FAME.”

“We are very excited to partner with 8 Track Entertainment on this next chapter in Muscle Shoals music’s historic legacy. Our music is currently on fire with the Shoals represented on almost every major award show over the last few years,” commented Rodney Hall, Co-Owner and President of FAME Publishing/FAME Records/FAME Recording Studios. “We look forward to working with the entire Shoals music scene to bring opportunity to artists, producers, engineers, studios, songwriters, musicians as well as all the other music related businesses.”

The partnership’s first project, “60th Anniversary Of FAME And The Muscle Shoals Sound,” between the newly revamped storied FAME Records and legendary producer, Keith Stegall’s Dreamlined Entertainment, is currently in production and is set for release later this year. It will feature such artists as War & Treaty, Demi Lovato, Chris Stapleton, Shenandoah, Candi Staton, Willie Nelson, LeBlanc Family Band, Alison Krauss, The Fame Gang, Alan Jackson, Anderson East, Vince Gill, Billy D. Allen, Michael McDonald, and others.


About 8 Track Entertainment:

8 Track Entertainment is a multi-faceted global entertainment company based in Muscle Shoals, Alabama with satellite offices in Nashville, Tennessee. Under the 8-Track Entertainment moniker is a Sports and Entertainment Management division, a Music Production and Publishing entity, and a full-service TV/Film division. Since launching in 2021, 8-Track Publishing has celebrated its first #1 Billboard Hot Country Song (Aaron Lewis/“Am I The Only One”) and first #1 iTunes Country Album (Aaron Lewis/”Frayed At Both Ends”), and #7 iTunes Country Album (Eddie Montgomery/“Ain’t No Closing Me Down.”). The company has also partnered with the NHRA to produce an exciting live concert series launching later this year.

8 Track Entertainment founding partners are Grammy-award winning engineer/producer and ASCAP-award winning songwriter, Noah Gordon; Jeff Goodwin, Vice President Marketing & Partnerships; and Bill Harbin,Vice President Corporate Partnerships. Visit www.8TrackEnt.com for more information.

About FAME:

FAME Music was established in 1959 in Florence, Ala., and moved to Muscle Shoals, Ala., in 1961, where it became the indisputable heartbeat of the iconic Muscle Shoals Sound. FAME Music entities include FAME Publishing, FAME Recording Studios, House of Fame, FAME Records and Muscle Shoals Music Group. FAME has worked in the studio with some of the greatest artists in music history—including, but not limited to, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Alicia Keys, Jason Isbell, and Etta James—and has been involved in recording and/or publishing records that have sold more than 400 million copies worldwide. Visit FAME at www.famestudios.com.

About Shenandoah:

Shenandoah originally formed in Muscle Shoals, Alabama in 1985. The band has charted 26 singles on the Billboard Hot Country charts, including #1 hits “The Church on Cumberland Road,” “Sunday in the South” and “Two Dozen Roses” from 1989, “Next to You, Next to Me” from 1990, and “If Bubba Can Dance (I Can Too)” from 1994. The single “Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart,” which featured guest vocals from Alison Krauss, won both artists a GRAMMY® Award for “Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.” To date, the group has sold millions of albums worldwide.
Visit www.ShenandoahBand.com for additional information.

8 Track Entertainment
PO Box 120755
Nashville, TN 37212
Claire@8TrackEnt.com

FAME Adds New Backstage Tour Experience

FAME Adds New Backstage Tour Experience

 

Introducing the FAME Recording Studios Backstage Tour Experience:

Beginning on March 1st, 2022, FAME Recording Studios will be adding a special Backstage tour at 9:00am and 3:30pm every Monday through Friday and on Saturdays at 10:00am, 12:00pm and 2:00pm. The Backstage Experience offers a behind-the-scenes look at selected areas of the studios not available on standard tours. Indulge yourself in an exclusive experience masterfully guided by a member of the FAME team with Backstage groups limited to 10 people. The Backstage tour price includes the normal studio tour.

The Backstage Experience takes you behind the velvet rope including, FAME’s Publishing Office, Rick Hall’s personal office, exhibits showcasing FAME’s multiple awards including Gold Records and Song-of-the-Year awards, and exhibits focused on instruments played in historic sessions including the legendary Aretha Franklin sessions and instruments from Rick Hall’s personal collection.

Cost: $30 (includes general admission tour attractions)
We encourage you to book your Backstage tickets through our online store to ensure your spot.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Episode 7: Clayton Ivey

Episode 7: Clayton Ivey

On Episode Seven of Through These Doors: A FAME Studios Podcast, Rodney Hall welcomes legendary producer and musician Clayton Ivey. Listen in as Hall and Ivey discuss Ivey’s over 50 years of hit records as a keyboard player at FAME and his own Wishbone Studios in Muscle Shoals to recording with some of the biggest acts in the world from Rod Stewart to Little Richard and producing acts like The Commodores, The Supremes, and The Temptations.

Watch Episode Seven

 

Listen to the audio-only version of Episode Seven

Little Richard

The Innovator. The Originator. The Architect of Rock and Roll.

These are just a few of the names bestowed upon the legendary Richard Wayne Penniman, better known to the world as Little Richard, one of the most influential recording artists in the history of popular music. Few have left a more indelible mark on our culture’s fabric than Little Richard. One only needs to listen to The Rolling Stones (who toured with Richard in the early-60s), Jimi Hendrix (who played in Richard’s band for a short period) and The Beatles (who also toured on a bill with Richard in the early-60s).

According to Richard, as quoted in his biography, The Life and Times of Little Richard by Charles White, The Beatles’s manager, Brian Epstein, told him, “These boys worship you. You’re the only famous artist they’ve ever met. They’ve never met a famous person in their life. They want their picture taken with you.”

Sometimes, however, when we extol an artist for their influence, we can diminish their greatness somewhat by viewing them only in a light shined by others. It is not only because he influenced so many other rock and roll bands that we should remember how great Little Richard’s music is — because, in fact, there are so many aspects of his performance style and playing abilities that are still untouched by others — to this day.

Little Richard was born in Macon, Georgia, in 1932, the third of 12 children. Obsessed with music in his early years, he was given his first big break at the age of 14 opening for Sister Rosetta Tharpe at the Macon City Auditorium after hearing him singing her songs prior to a performance.

By 1949, he was performing in minstrel performer Doctor Nubillo’s traveling show and was later inspired to don some of the more flamboyant outfits worn by Nubillo — like capes and turbans — that would come to define the signature, electrifying, live performances he would become known at the apex of his career.

After years of touring and performing with little traction, Little Richard scored his first smash hit, “Tutti Frutti” in 1955, continuing to deliver an unprecedented string of hits in the late-50s, including “Long Tall Sally,” “Slippin’ and Slidin,’” “Ready Teddy,” “The Girl Can’t Help It,” (the title song for the 1956 movie of the same name starring Jane Mansfield) “Rip It Up,” and “Lucille,” to name only a few.

This record run of hits would come to an abrupt end, however, as in the middle of his 1957 tour with Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran, Richard announced that he would be leaving popular music behind and following a life in the ministry.

Cutting the tour short and returning to the U.S. ten days earlier than expected, Richard learned that his original flight had crashed into the Pacific Ocean, further cementing his decision to stop performing secular music and he enrolled at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, to study theology, following a “farewell performance” at the Apollo Theater and a “final” recording session with Specialty Records.

His break from secular music would prove to be short-lived, and Richard embarked on several successful rock and roll tours throughout the sixties — although due to the arrival of the Beatles and other British bands as well as the rise of soul labels such as Motown and Stax Records, Richard’s new releases were not well promoted and found little airtime on the radio.

By 1970, three years had passed since the last new material from Little Richard. Wanting to cross over to both black rhythm and blues and white rock audiences, Richards signed with Reprise Records (having turned down offers from other labels, including The Beatles’s Apple Records).

Hoping to meld his signature sound with the hit-making power coming out of Muscle Shoals in the early 1970s, Little Richard decided to record his next album, The Rill Thing, at FAME Recording Studios under the direction of Producer Rick Hall.

“I worked with several of my early rock and roll idols who’d had a profound effect on the shape of my musical ideas. Little Richard was one.” said Hall (in his autobiography, “The Man From Muscle Shoals.”) “After Little Richard visited FAME, he made Muscle Shoals a part of his musical identity. A number of my best studio musicians, including guitarist Travis Wammack and bassist Jesse Boyce, later joined Richard’s road band and toured the world.”

Although The Rill Thing was not the commercial success Richard was hoping for, the album received near unanimous critical acclaim and delivered Richard his last Billboard Hot 100 hit, Greenwood, Mississippi, written by Travis Wammack and Albert Lowe Jr. Billboard Magazine described the album as a “stomping, swinging, soulful leap backwards in the rock ‘n’ rolling ’50’s with the Muscle Shoals gang” and Joel Selvin of Rolling Stone considered the album “a major artistic triumph for Little Richard” that “faithfully exhibits Richard’s maturity as an artist both through the selection of material and the contemporary instrumental setting”.

Little Richard continued to tour and record throughout his life and, in 1986, was a member of the first group of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and the Everly Brothers.

On May 9, 2020, Richard died at the age of 87 at his home in Tullahoma, Tennessee after a long illness.

FAME is honored to have played a part in the extraordinary career of a truly original and singular performer. While Little Richard would have always reached the heights of Rock n’ Roll supremacy, FAME wouldn’t have been the same without his ground-breaking music and style.

A wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom

Episode 6: Norbert Putnam

Episode 6: Norbert Putnam

On Episode SIX of Through These Doors: A FAME Studios Podcast, Rodney Hall is thrilled to welcome Muscle Shoals music legend, Norbert Putnam, for a memorable trip down music memory lane. From his days recording in FAME’s first dozen hits to recording with Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and Jimmy Buffet,  to being inducted into the Musicians and Alabama Music Hall of Fames, you’ll want to listen to every second of this enlightening and fascinating conversation.

Watch Episode Six

 

Listen to the audio-only version of Episode Six

IK Multimedia announces T-RackS FAME Studio Reverb

For Immediate Release

The officially certified collection from the legendary FAME Studios of Muscle Shoals, Alabama,
modeling the acclaimed live rooms, iso booths and more

 

November 4, 2021 – IK Multimedia announces FAME Studio Reverb for T-RackS, capturing the sound and vibe of FAME Studios and offering innovative controls for achieving the Muscle Shoals sound in any studio.

Among recording artists, it’s called the “hit recording capital of the world.” For over 60 years, FAME Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, has produced an endless stream of iconic hits powered by a sound that simply can’t be found anywhere else in the world, until now.

An entire studio’s worth of spaces
T-RackS FAME Studio Reverb offers a total of 9 spaces, with 2 live rooms, 5 iso booths, an EMT plate reverb and FAME’s newly-restored echo chamber, plus Modern and Vintage modes for each, giving users a full suite of reverb effects in a single plug-in.

A newly-restored part of music history
In addition to the rooms and plate, IK is proud to have helped FAME’s Rodney Hall restore one of FAME’s original echo chambers. Long out of use, this newly restored chamber is equipped just as it was in the ’60s and sounds every bit as amazing now as it did then.

That exact sound, instrument by instrument
IK worked hand-in-hand with FAME to precisely capture not just the mic placement used on all their iconic albums, but where the performers were positioned as well. Users can select which instrument they’re processing and T-RackS FAME Studio Reverb instantly re-positions both the microphones and source in the room, right where the magic happened.

Iconic consoles for iconic spaces
Beyond using FAME’s extensive vintage mic locker, IK took care to capture each studio’s unique sonic signature.

Studio A boasts a Neve 8232 console, while Studio B, recently renovated and restored by Rodney and GRAMMY Award-winning producer Glenn Rosenstein, offers an SSL 6056 E formerly loved by Stevie Ray Vaughan and used on his most successful albums.

Or, for a more vintage sound, users can switch either studio to use FAME’s original Universal Audio 610 console, hand-built for FAME, to precisely capture the vibes of FAME’s earliest decades.

The deepest level of authenticity
To capture both the unique acoustics of each studio, IK used its unique Volumetric Response Modeling (VRM™), an advanced hybrid convolution technique, to deliver the highest-quality reverb effects possible.

T-RackS FAME Studio Reverb takes this to a whole new level, using proprietary new techniques to enhance the measurement process for a truly immersive experience. The new SPREAD control lets users broaden each room’s response to best fit the sound source.

Convenient tone shaping
T-RackS FAME Studio Reverb offers all the necessary controls to shape the spaces including reverb time, width and frequency controls, microphone controls (left, right, or both) and accurate leveling/monitoring of the mixed signals.

To offer even more realism, when using the two studio’s live rooms, FAME Studio Reverb offers two faders for mono room ambience, which can be mixed into the stereo signal or used alone, just as if recording at FAME itself.

The power of T-RackS
Like all T-RackS plug-ins, T-RackS FAME Studio Reverb offers two ways to work: as a single plug-in, or within the T-RackS 5 shell.

Pricing and availability
T-RackS FAME Studio Reverb is coming this November and is available for pre-order from the IK Multimedia online store and from IK authorized dealers worldwide at a special limited-time introductory price of $/€129.99* (reg. $/€149.99).

*All pricing excluding taxes.

For more information about FAME Studio Reverb or to see it in action, please visit: http://www.ikmultimedia.com/trfame and https://www.ikmultimedia.com/trfame/video

Best regards,
IK Multimedia. Musicians First.

 


 

About IK Multimedia: IK Multimedia is a leading music technology company that harnesses advanced software and hardware design to make professional quality tools accessible to everyone-from its ground-breaking AmpliTube and T-RackS software and award-winning iLoud reference monitors, to its UNO range of analog synthesizers and drum machines. With millions of installations and registered users worldwide, IK also leads the way for mobile musicians with its acclaimed iRig series of music creation tools for use with iPhone, iPad, Android and Mac/PC. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

FAME Music was established in 1959 in Florence, Ala., and moved to Muscle Shoals, Ala., in 1961, where it became the indisputable heartbeat of the iconic Muscle Shoals Sound. FAME Music entities include FAME Publishing, FAME Recording Studios, House of Fame, LLC FAME Records and Muscle Shoals Music Group. FAME has worked in the studio with some of the greatest artists in music history — including, but not limited to, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Jason Isbell, and Etta James — and has been involved in recording and/or publishing records that have sold more than 400 million copies worldwide. Visit FAME at www.famestudios.com.