Born: 1941  Amory, MS

Died: Nov. 10, 1965

Lived in Florence, AL

Rock Songwriter, Guitar FAME Studios

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

The first FAME Rhythm Section, which played on the historic Arthur Alexander records including "You Better Move On" and "A Shot of Rhythm and Blues", consisted of some of the members of the local group Dan Penn and the Pallbearers, a band that played the southeastern circuit traveling to their gigs in a hearse. These sides were cut in an old abandoned tobacco and candy warehouse on Wison Dam Road.

The money made on "You Better Move On", selling over 800,000 singles, was put towards a new studio built at the current FAME Studios site at 603 East Avalon Avenue in Muscle Shoals.

The first song cut in the new building was the rhythm and blues classic "Steal Away", was written and performed by a local man, Jimmy Hughes.

This was the start of Muscle Shoals becoming "The Hit Recording Capital of the World". The rhythm section playing on these historic sessions was the first full-time rhythm section for FAME. The section consisted of David Briggs, Norbert Putnam, Earl (Peanut) Montgomery, Terry Thompson, Spooner Oldham and Jerry Carrigan.

All of these players went on to become major forces in the music industry. After opening successful studios and publishing companies in Memphis and Nashville Norbert Putnam and David Briggs went on to play with Elvis Presley.

terry thompson shot of rhythm and blues 45Although Terry Thompson died at a very young age, he made a huge impact as both a session musician and songwriter. Terry wrote "A Shot of Rhythm and Blues", which has been recorded hundreds of times, most notably by Jimmy Hughes, Arthur Conley and The Beatles.

Norbert Putnam, who went on to open studios in Memphis and Nashville with Briggs, was a very successful producer. Jerry Carrigan went to Nashville and became the hottest drummer in town. He also toured with Elvis for several years. Earl (Peanut) Montgomery went on to write hundreds of songs, several of which were Number One singles for the likes of George Jones and Tammy Wynette.

Spooner Oldham is the quintessential Muscle Shoals Keyboard player. He has played on hundreds of hit records for artists such as Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett Etta James, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Jewel and Percy Sledge. Spooner has also written hundreds of hits including "I'm You Puppet", "Cry Like A Baby" to name a couple.

This rhythm section played on hits by artist such as The Tams, Tommy Roe and Joe Tex and some of these players returned in the 80's to play on hits by Jerry Reed, Mac Davis and the Gatlin Brothers.


More info:

Video: A Shot Of Rhythm & Blues by Arthur Alexander

Musical pioneers inducted into music hall of fame Friday, March 26, 2010 By Russ Corey


Amazon: A Shot of Rhythm and Blues and You Better Move On

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