Musician donates guitar to Muscle Shoals recording museum
SHEFFIELD, Ala. (AP) — The tour experience at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios just got a little more authentic.
Leaning against one of the walls is a black Music Man electric guitar owned by Pete Carr, lead guitarist for the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section during the 1970s.
“We were thrilled,” said museum curator Debbie Wilson. “He just showed up (Tuesday).”
Carr’s track record as a session guitarist is stellar. He played on many of the studios’ hits during the 1970s, and on hits recorded elsewhere. Among the records are Bob Seger’s “Main Street,” Luther Ingram’s “If Loving You Is Wrong,” Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s the Night” and “Sailing,” and Barbra Streisand’s “What Kind of Fool.”
“Pete did really great stuff with us,” said David Hood, bassist with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and one of the original owners of the studio. “He was the most prolific player. All those records were really big records.”
Carr was also a producer, working with Paul Simon and the rhythm section on albums, and produced the hit single “Motorcycle Mama” for Sailcat.
He teamed with Lenny LeBlanc to form LeBlanc and Carr, scoring a major hit with “Falling.”
“It was so cool when he came by (Tuesday),” Wilson said. “Colin (a tour guide) was telling a tour group about Pete - and there he was with his guitar.”
The studio contains several original instruments used by rhythm section members, including a baby grand piano, a drum kit used by Roger Hawkins, one of Jimmy Johnson’s guitars, and a bass speaker cabinet used by Hood.
Hood said the bass speaker cabinet dates to the mid-1960s when he was recording with Percy Sledge.
“It’s cool to see some of the instruments there from the original players,” he said.
The studio is now a museum but remains a working studio, as well. It is owned by the nonprofit Muscle Shoals Music Foundation, and was restored with a grant from Beats by Dr. Dre. It opened in January, and tours are available Monday through Saturday.
The 3614 Jackson Highway studio was active from 1969 until 1979. The four rhythm section members, who owned it, moved to more spacious quarters about 2 miles away on the banks of the Tennessee River. They sold that to Malaco Records in the mid-1980s.
The original location has been owned by a variety of people, some of whom continued to use it for recording.
Information from: TimesDaily, http://www.timesdaily.com/