Born: Florence, AL

Country

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame


jackson highway capitol promo 1980

Jackson Highway was named by Muscle Shoals producer Jimmy Johnson after the legendary address of the Muscle Shoals Sound Recording Studio in Sheffield, Alabama....3614 Jackson Highway. With that name the band certainly became a part of a special musical family.

The founding members of the band, brothers, Dennis and Russell Gulley, along with friend, Tommy Patterson, migrated from Fort Payne, Alabama to the Shoals after several years of working on the road with both regional and national acts, such as Cross from Birmingham and Ruby Winters (Polydor Records recording artist). The Gulley brothers came out of a background of Southern Gospel music, while Patterson was a music student in college. All were searching for a future in music as artists and /or songwriters.

Shortly after getting to Muscle Shoals Sound, the trio was joined by guitarist Britt Meacham, and drummer, Ronnie Vance, a native of Florence, Alabama. Britt was a native of Memphis, but had settled in Mobile, Alabama with his new wife, Cheryl. Britt had previously worked with Bell Records recording act, Storm, a rock trio produced by Barry Beckett at MSS (Muscle Shoals Sound).

Mike O'rear, the publishing administrator for MSS, was put in charge of demoing the new arrivals for the publishing company and became instrumental in supporting the band members by getting them a house band gig across the Ala.Tenn. state line at a club called Johnny's Club. The band worked there from 1973 till about 1977, when they released their first LP on the Muscle Shoals Sound label, simply titled , "Jackson Highway".

With the release of their first recording, Jackson Highway began a hard journey that kept them constantly touring throughout the South , colleges, clubs, concert dates, where ever anyone would listen to them.

In 1980, their hard work finally paid off with a second LP, produced by the same MSS team of Jimmy Johnson and David Hood. This time the LP was on the MSS/Capitol label. To support the record, the band toured with Ted Nugent, UFO, Triumph, and opened for groups, such as Blackfoot.

When Capitol, did not pick up the band's option, the group then moved to Nashville, at the suggestion of hometown friends, the Country Supergroup, ALABAMA. This time, keyboardist, Tommy Patterson chose to stay in Muscle Shoals to do sessions and work for the recording studios.

In 1986, after some 13 years together, the band officially disbanded. Since then, the various members have remained in touch, even performing with each other on occasion, and each continues to maintain a musical career.

Dennis, lives in Nashville, manages a recording studio with partner, Johnny Neel, formerly of The Allman Brothers and Gov't Mule, and performs at Nashville clubs. He's also toured with ALABAMA and The Moffits.

Tommy Patterson is still in Muscle Shoals, works at the recording studios in computer programming, piano tuning, and sessions, gigs locally as well as on the road, with such stars as the legendary, Little Richard.

Britt Meacham, lives in Mobile and tours/records regularly with Malaco/Waldoxy Records group, The Beat Daddys. Britt has also toured overseas with Blues Legend, Little Milton. Of course Britt is also famous for supplying some famous guitar licks on the giant rock and roll recording by Bob Seger, Old Time Rock and Roll.

Russell Gulley continues to perform and record. He,also is involved with the arts community as a folklorist and community arts administrator. He serves on the board of the Alabama Folklife Association, is active in arts in education programming, and has served his hometown of Fort Payne, as one of the organizers of an annual festival, The Boom Days Heritage Celebration.

Ronnie Vance, still resides in Florence, where he is a successful businessman and entrepreneur.

Source: http://russellgulley.com/JacksonHighway.html


More info:

Allmusic credits: http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/card/0,,504886,00.html

Video: Jackson Highway return to Muscle Shoals 1080p.mov http://youtu.be/PvhoCMAzhmY

Video: Jackson Highway Reunion Concert at PJ's Muscle Shoals 720p.mov http://youtu.be/oPyE63IZ2-s

Video: Jackson Highway 'Circles' (1980) http://youtu.be/oQAHVSpVGHE

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