by Katie Crowder
The town of Muscle Shoals has, without a doubt, one of the most recognizable names in musical entertainment and has given birth to many great records both new and old. The “Hit Recording Capital of the World” is known for legendary names like Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, Percy Sledge and more. In the mix of the rich history and exciting stories found around this southern small town, sits a major contributor to the many sounds coming from Muscle Shoals.
Established in 1976 by songwriter and musician Terry Woodford, Wishbone Studios is home to many big hits and familiar tunes. Billy Lawson, a singer, songwriter, and producer is the proud owner of the building that holds the thick history behind the recognizable wishbone showcased on the front of the building.
Muscle Shoals prides itself on the numerous records both written and recorded in the city. Wishbone was the first 24-track recorder in the Shoals area where artists, Mac McAnally, a 7- time CMA Country Musician of the Year, spent the beginning of his career honing his craft and co-writing and demoing Alabama’s “Old Flame”. Other projects like the popular throwback, “Family Tradition” by Hank Williams Jr. is one well-known hit cut at Wishbone, along with Roy Orbison’s “Laminar Flow”. These are sure to ring a bell to a long time country music lover.
Exploring the possibilities for musical growth, Muscle Shoals Recordings is the most recent addition to Wishbone Studios. A talented trio made up of music professionals, Mike O’Rear, Billy Lawson and James Wright, MSR LLC provides marketing, distributing, publishing, production, merchandising, and creative intelligence to its clients and their success. MSR LLC is eagerly building its name with artists like Lance Dubroc, Alecia Elliott, and Ed Hill, to keep the sound of Muscle Shoals proudly booming and attractive to the Shoals area.