Gregg Hamm

Born: Oct. 8, 1955, Florence, Alabama

Recording engineer for Muscle Shoals Sound Studios; Engineered sessions with Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Wilson Pickett, Willie Nelson, Dire Straits, Dr. Hook and many more. He Co-Produced "Twelve Steps From The Tip Jar" for Christian Turner. Currently a partner in Sheffield Sound recording studio.

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

For over twenty years, folks in Muscle Shoals have tried to get Gregg Hamm out of retirement and back into the music business. The veteran sound engineer wouldn’t budge until his long time friend, songwriter Cris Moore, introduced him to a smoldering new soul artist, Christian Turner. Another engineer, Randy Bruce, showed him the ropes with computerized software for mixing sound, and it didn’t take him long to jump right back in the saddle. Now you can’t get him out of the studio.

In the glory days of Muscle Shoals, when you heard the names Jerry Wexler and Barry Beckett attached to a record, it was a pretty sure bet that Gregg Hamm was in the mix as well. The walls of his home studio with their myriad of gold records belie the humble demeanor of this craftsman who engineered sessions with the likes of Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Wilson Pickett, Willie Nelson, Dire Straits, Canned Heat, Levon Helm, Sam & Dave, Millie Jackson, Dr. Hook, Sister Sledge, and many more. They all attest to the fact that when a song has been “Hammered,” it’s like giving it the Midas Touch. The national anthem of rock ‘n roll, Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock ‘n Roll,” was “Hammered” in the first degree!

In 1971, Gregg and Cris were writing and playing guitar together, and one of them got the wild notion to take some of their stuff to Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. Just a couple of crazy kids, scared to death, with no appointment and nobody to introduce them, they entered with knees knocking. Both were in shock when Terry Woodford from the Muscle Shoals Publishing Company was willing to look at their work. Two of the songs were accepted, and even though nothing came of them, it gave the two a huge dose of confidence. Little did they both know how much their courses were probably charted that very day.

One never knows when life’s paintbrush will color destiny with the strokes of irony; a few years later Gregg got the unexpected when he called his dad about his decision to attend a music program at Belmont College. The elder Hamm had installed some heating equipment at the original Muscle Shoals Sound Studio at 3614 Jackson Highway, so he called Jimmy Johnson to ask what he knew about Belmont. As a result of that call, Gregg was invited to apprentice at the Jackson Highway building, and the rest, as they say, is musical history.

Today, he is fired up about co-producing Christian Turner, a powerhouse talent whom Gregg says possesses the vocals, the look, the stage presence, and the quality to make everybody sit up and take notice. The legendary engineer thinks the time has come when people want a change in music. Baby boomers who grew up with music they could “feel” number in the legions now, and they still love that groove. All you have to do is attend a class reunion, and you know that funky sound is alive and well. There’s a new buzz and excitement in Muscle Shoals, and a lot of people think lightening could strike twice in the famed Mecca of Soul. When it does, Gregg Hamm sits poised to be in the thick of it all over again.

Sherry Maves 2006


Make It Through The Gray by Christian Turner









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