Muscle Shoals pioneer Rick Hall has died, aged 85

Hall worked with artists including Aretha Franklin and Etta James throughout his career

Rick Hall, the man credited with the Muscle Shoals sound, has died.

The producer, music publisher, and songwriter died at his home earlier this morning (January 2), according to reports. He was 85 years old.

Judy Hood, a board member of the Alabama Music Hall Of Fame, confirmed Hall’s death to TimesDaily, saying: “It’s a very, very sad day for Muscle Shoals and music in general.” Hall had been living in a nursing home, but had returned home before Christmas, according to Hood.

The Alabama Music Hall of Fame have already paid tribute to Hall, calling him a “one-of-a-kind, unforgettable force in the world of music” in a post to their Facebook page. They added: “A lifetime is not enough to appreciate his work.”

Hall began his career in music playing guitar, mandolin and fiddle with the group Carmol Taylor And The Country Pals. He later set up the FAME (Florence Alabama Music Enterprises) studio in Muscle Shoals, where the likes of Etta James, Aretha Franklin, and Duane Allman were among the first to record.

Often called the founder of Muscle Shoals music, Hall was featured prominently in the 2013 documentary Muscle Shoals. He also published his memoirs, titled The Man From Muscle Shoals: My Journey From Shame To Fame, in 2015.