I recently spent the day with Georgia Turner, who is the Media Relations Director at the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism and Visitors Center. She is a GREAT cheerleader for her part of the state and showed me so many things I’d never even heard of. And all of them are only about an hour from my house. Over the next few posts, I’ll share some of them with you — just in case you’re the curious type like I am.
Muscle Shoals has become synonymous with music, but actually all four towns that make up The Shoals (Florence, Sheffield, Tuscumbia, and Muscle Shoals) have their own special contributions in the area of music.
- FAME Recording Studios – Muscle Shoals
2. 3614 Jackson Highway – Sheffield “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” are only two of hundreds of records that were made using the talents, skills, and facilities of Rick Hall and a group of studio musicians he put together who later came to be known as The Swampers. The sounds they created became recognizable throughout the entire country. Watch the documentary “Muscle Shoals” and find time for a visit. It will make you proud AGAIN to be from North Alabama. www.fame2.com
3. The Alabama Music Hall of Fame – Tuscumbia This is a wonderful museum that houses costumes, instruments, recordings and personal effects from many music legends with connections to Alabama. It is a great place for school field trips — especially 4th graders learning Alabama History. www.alamhof.org
4. W.C. Handy Birthplace and Museum – Florence Handy, who became known as the “Father of the Blues” was born in this log cabin in 1873. The largest collection of items about him and his music are in this place. A yearly festival is held in his honor. www.wchandymusicfestival.org
FAME, the Hall of Fame, and the Handy birthplace are open regularly for tours. Both the Hall of Fame and the Handy birthplace charge admission. 3614 Jackson Highway is undergoing an extensive remodeling and rejuvenation but should be open again by late March or April of 2016.
5. Downtown Florence hosts First Fridays each month from March to December. Area musicians perform, shops and restaurants stay open late, and arts and crafts are on display. There is no admission charge for this fun time. Maybe I’ll see you there when the weather warms up.
Stay tuned for more of The Shoals Countdown:
4 Great Places to Eat on Court Street
3 Artistic Names to Learn
2 Luxurious Places to Spend the Night
1 Long Wall That Will Inspire You