Rolling Stones' Muscle Shoals Sessions to Be Commemorated with Historic Marker
The 45th anniversary of the historic recording session by The Rolling Stones at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama, will be commemorated with a marker next week in the nearby town of Florence. The unveiling ceremony is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET on Friday, December 5, at the site of a former Holiday Inn where the band stayed while working on several of their classic songs at the renowned studio. In early December of 1969, the British rock legends recorded "Wild Horses," "Brown Sugar" and "You Gotta Move," which all eventually were released on the group's 1971 album, Sticky Fingers. Studio co-owner Jimmy Johnson, who also was the guitarist of the famed group of Muscle Shoals session musicians known as The Swampers, engineered The Stones recordings, and will be in attendance at the ceremony. "The Stones' visit was a major turning point," says Johnson. "I am very excited about the marker and appreciate the state support for our efforts to preserve and promote Muscle Shoals Music." The acclaimed 1970 Rolling Stones documentary Gimme Shelter includes footage of some of the band's members recording in Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and also listening to a recording of "Brown Sugar" in a room at the Holiday Inn, which was torn down during the 1970s. Some of those scenes also appear in the 2013 Muscle Shoals documentary, as do new interviews with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards recalling the sessions. The Alabama Tourism Department was responsible for producing the marker. "Because the Muscle Shoals documentary contained actual film footage of the Rolling Stones' recording sessions here, more people are aware of that history,” says Tourism Department director Lee Sentell. "This should be…a unique photo opportunity for fans of the Stones."