Muscle Shoals Sound

Join WPKN on December 16 and 17 for a special fundraiser celebrating the Muscle Shoals Sound.

In 1969, The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, widely referred to as “The Swampers” started a recording studio. The founders, Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins, David Hood and Jimmy Johnson, were originally session musicians at Rick Hall’s FAME Studios and, together with Hall, they created the “Muscle Shoals Sound.”

The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section provided musical backing and arrangements for major hits by Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and the Staple Singers. Success in soul and R&B prompted rock and pop performers to record at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. Recordings included Elkie Brooks, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, Glenn Frey, Levon Helm, Dr. Hook, Millie Jackson, Etta James, Elton John, Tamiko Jones, Julian Lennon, George Michael, Willie Nelson, Wilson Pickett, Boz Scaggs, Bob Seger, Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart, The Allman Brothers, The Rolling Stones, and Traffic. The Muscle Shoals style fused hillbilly, blues, rock’n’roll, soul, country, and gospel, to create a sound that cherry-picked the best features of each to forge something new.

3614 Jackson Highway

The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section partnered with Jerry Wexler to found Muscle Shoals Sound Studio at 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield, AL. Cher’s sixth album was titled 3614 Jackson Highway (1969). The first hit to the studio’s credit was R.B. Greaves’ “Take a Letter Maria.”

In 2006, 3614 Jackson Highway was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Filmmaker Greg Camalier premiered his documentary Muscle Shoals at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013. The film includes interviews with Bono, Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Wilson Pickett, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge, and Steve Winwood. The Muscle Shoals Music Foundation has established a music museum in the historic building. The studio is still a working recording studio at night, and the building itself is the physical representation of the words, “Muscle Shoals Sound.”

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Your contribution helps WPKN, a 501(c)(3) organization.

Al Bell
Al Bell
Al Bell celebrates the Blues and R&B, playing songs in accordance with his own unique desire to hear one creative piece in juxtaposition with the next.
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Annette Szczesiul
Annette Szczesiul
What inspires me about ‘PKN is that amidst all the differences, there is a beautiful core sharing values, mutual inspiration, spirit, heart, humor and never-ending goofiness!
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Catherine Conroy
Catherine Conroy
A creative marketing professional specializing in the intersection of urban ecosystems and digital technologies with an ear to the ground for social trends in a constantly evolving industry.
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Cheryl Magoveny
Cheryl Magoveny
I have been on the air at WPKN since September 2018. I am inspired by WPKN in many ways. I am greatly impressed by the immense love all the programmers, volunteers, and staff have for the station. Because of this, our listeners can expect to hear the widest range of programming on radio today.
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Chris Frantz
Chris Frantz
Charton Christopher Frantz is an American musician and record producer. He is the drummer for both Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, which he co-founded with his wife, Tina Weymouth. In July 2020 Chris Frantz released a new book, Remain In Love. In 2002, Frantz was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Chris has been a longtime resident of Fairfield, Connecticut, and a programmer at WPKN.
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Colette Rossignol
Colette Rossignol
Colette started at WPKN in 1982 presenting “Capital Radio” and continues on programming both a Rock-N-Roll and her “Blues for Bob and You” show.
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David Golden
David Golden
WPKN Board of Directors Library Director
I showed up at the WPKN studio as a college student and never went away. In the intervening years, I’ve served on various station boards and committees, hosted a bunch of live music, and hopefully kept you company.
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Del LaPietro
Del LaPietro
I was the WPKN Library Director from August of 2012 to 2021, and have been dubbed ‘the Anarchivist’ because of my interest in and passion for preserving the future of the WPKN collection.
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Emma Speer
Emma Speer
Emma was born and bred in Bridgeport. Besides travel and a brief stint in the far away land of ~college~, she has lived in Bridgeport her whole life. She attended Yale University where she received a B.S. in Cognitive Science, particularly focusing on implicit bias, language, and humor.
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Eric Cocks
Eric Cocks
Eric Cocks is an artist, & part-time astronaut (mainly on weekends), hosts Connections on WPKN. 2nd Facebook page.
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howard thompson
howard thompson
Howard Thompson hosts the rocking program, ‘PURE.’
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Joseph Celli
Joseph Celli
Joseph Celli is an American musician and composer specializing in contemporary and improvised music for oboe and English horn. In addition, he plays the Yamaha WX7 MIDI breath controller, as well as double reed instruments from several Asian cultures.
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Kevin Gallagher
Kevin Gallagher
WPKN Board of Directors, Long Island Director
Kevin Gallagher likes to dig. Ask him to tell you about his life, and don’t be surprised if he digs up a tale about traveling the world with the Eurythmics or that he’s been digging WPKN since he became a DJ in 1972.
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Kevin Patrick
Kevin Patrick
Kevin Patrick: artist manager, label owner, A&R executive, radio promotion veteran, broadcaster and as well, an obsessed record collector.
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Martha W. Lewis
Martha W. Lewis
Martha Lewis is a visual artist, curator, educator and radio presenter who has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her artistic practice focuses on drawing, Site-Specific Installation, books, knowledge, and the history of science. She holds an MFA from Yale University and a BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Visit Martha’s website.
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Martha Nachman
Martha Nachman
Martha Nachman hosts The Music Never Stopped
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Rob Silber
Rob Silber
Rob Silber hosts Rock Therapy on WPKN. View his schedule.
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Rod Richardson
Rod Richardson
WPKN Operations Traffic Manager
20+ years of Radio Nothing. Visit my Radio Nothing website.
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Steve di Costanzo
Steve di Costanzo
WPKN General Manager
Music has always been front and center for me. It’s beyond therapeutic.
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In addition to our spectacular hosts, above, we want to take a minute to thank our fundraiser tally-keepers, without whose help we would certainly be lost!