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Soul Provider: Muscle Shoals keyboard legend Barry Beckett in His Own Words

Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages, June 2009

NOTE: This is a pretty straight transcript of what the late Barry Beckett said to me in his new Warner Brothers office in Nashville in September 1985. It was for my book Say It One Time for the Brokenhearted, about southern or "country" soul – an idiom Beckett had forsaken in a desire to become a successful producer on Music Row. He had just moved up from Muscle Shoals Sound, where he'd worked with everyone from Wilson Pickett and the Staple Singers to Bobs Dylan and Seger, and he would go on to produce not only Hank Williams Jr. and Kenny Chesney but Phish and the Waterboys. In this interview he talks about how he wound up in Muscle Shoals and how a rift with FAME's Rick Hall led to the formation of the famous Muscle Shoals Sound studio on Jackson Highway. He was a great man and will be sorely missed as a presence in American music. BH

Total word count of piece: 1776


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