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Old 04-24-2014, 07:54 PM   #1
NorthAlabama
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independent lens - "muscle shoals" - se15 ep17 oad 4/21/2014

for music lovers (and documentery fans), pbs is airing an episode of independent lens this week on muscle shoals, alabama.

i live very close to muscle shoals today, and remember coming across the city in album liner notes frequently when i was growing up.

it focuses on fame studios and it's founder rick hall, and the local studio musicians ("swampers"), who many assumed were all black r&b artists after hearing the music. bono, donna jean godchaux, jimmy cliff, and keith richards open the film, and it features commentary, music, and interviews with aretha franklin, gregg allman, clarence carter, mick jagger, alicia keys, percy sledge, steve winwood, and paul simon.

there's original photos and archive footage, including interviews with the late wilson pickett and etta james, and it talks about muscle shoals sound's contribution to bob dylan, rod stewart, boz scaggs, joe cocker, glenn frey, willie nelson, john prine, carlos santana, dire straits, dr. hook, linda ronstadt, bob seger, cher, lynyrd skynyrd, etc.

guide note: tms is showing this as se12 ep19, tvguide shows as se15 ep17, oad 4/21/2014 - who knows...
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:04 AM   #2
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I was considering renting or buying this documentary on iTunes so I was happy to see it pop up for free on Public TV. I've only watched part of it so far but it really is an amazing story.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:45 AM   #3
Jon J
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I've lived within 90 miles of Muscle Shoals all my life and honestly thought it was spelled Mussel Shoals since that part of the Tennessee River grows lots of mussels. For the life of me I can't come up with why it would be named Muscle.
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:07 AM   #4
NorthAlabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon J View Post
I've lived within 90 miles of Muscle Shoals all my life and honestly thought it was spelled Mussel Shoals since that part of the Tennessee River grows lots of mussels. For the life of me I can't come up with why it would be named Muscle.
the origin is unknown, but here are a few theories:
Quote:
The origin of the city's name is uncertain. One theory holds that it is named for piles of mussel shells found along the shoals; another suggests that the shoals are shaped like the muscle in someone's arm.

A third suggests that it came from the difficulty involved in trying to paddle upstream against the powerful current. This theory states: “Muscle Shoals, the Niagara of the South, derives its name from the Indians, who, attempting to navigate upstream, found the task almost impossible because of the strong current.” Thus came the word muscle, symbolic of the strength required to “paddle a canoe up the rapids.”

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Old 04-29-2014, 10:25 AM   #5
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I really enjoyed this special, though I still have the last 30 minutes to watch.

Thanks for bringing it to our attention, OP!
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