Friday, July 2, 2010

FAME Turns the Dirt on Earthy Soul Classics and Plants New Seeds with Addition of New Writers and Nashville Staff

The legendary "Muscle Shoals Sound" that resonated from the south in the 1960s will ring again with the reinvigoration of FAME Studios, FAME Publishing and House of FAME Publishing. A new generation of southern-influenced country, rock and soul artists can now be found alongside the northern Alabama landmark's list of notable names

Established in 1959, FAME wasted no time in producing their first hit with Arthur Alexander’s “You Better Move On.” The distinguishable rhythm and blues sound blended with the down-home Dixie charm of the southern state. Soon after, music industry’s elite began making the two hour journey with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Little Richard, Otis Redding, Etta James and Joe Tex to record in the small town of Muscle Shoals with FAME founder Rick Hall. 

The Muscle Shoals sound became evident and artists and producers all over the country began replicating the gritty sonority hoping to capture the relatable essence. Decades of hits and chart-topping success followed as The Osmonds, Bobbie Gentry, Mac Davis, Jerry Reed, Shenandoah and many others came to record at the southern soul-inspired studio. And the pilgrimage continues; Band of Horses recorded much of their current Billboard top ten debut in the venerable walls. Since its inception, FAME has been involved in projects selling over 350 million copies worldwide.

With that same southern soul influence, songwriting veteran Brad Crisler (Tim McGraw, Brooks and Dunn, Rascal Flatts and Kenny Chesney) returns to HOUSE OF FAME where he had his early success. Crisler first had success with the chart topping Sons of the Desert hit "Whatever Comes First" in 1997 and has been appearing on some of country's top selling albums ever since, including Kenny Chesney's "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems" and Rascal Flatt's "Melt" and "Feels Like Today." Other hits under Crisler’s belt include “Sweet Southern Comfort” from Buddy Jewell and “Hillbilly Deluxe” from Brooks & Dunn.

Artists on the FAME roster include Muscle Shoals native and 2007 “Nashville Star” winner, Angela Hacker. Joining Hacker, is James LeBlanc who has penned chart-toppers by Travis Tritt, Jason Aldean and Gary Allan while garnering album cuts by Aldean, Rascal Flatts, Sara Evans, Kenny Chesney, James Otto and Martina McBride. His 20-year-old son, Dylan LeBlanc, also joins the team with a raspy voice and low-key Americana vibe; the younger LeBlanc is signed to Rough Trade Records in London. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit bring a blues-inspired rock sound along with the Muscle Shoals horns, and Isbell recently received a nomination for the Americana Music Association’s “Album of the Year” award. Rounding out the roster is soul singing Florence, Ala. native Gary Nichols who holds tight to his southern roots with his Top 40 country success with “Unbroken Ground.” Nichols recently joined forces with Rounder Record’s GRAMMY nominated SteelDrivers. 

FAME welcomes industry veteran Steve Williams as Creative Director. Williams has spent over two decades in the industry creating chart success for the likes of Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Diamond Rio, Pam Tillis and others on the Arista/Nashville roster. As he moved forward into A&R and artist development, Williams had a hand in bringing one of country music’s biggest entertainers to Arista, Brad Paisely. Later, he became Creative Director at Paisley’s publishing company, Sea Gayle Music. Williams’ polished track record promises undeniable success from the current batch of southern soul and country that FAME consistently nurtures. 

Williams comments about his new position, “Some of the greatest music has come from Muscle Shoals and FAME has definitely been the backbone of great songs and artistry. I look forward to working with the talented people, writers and artists to create music and content as FAME breaks ground as a next generation entertainment company.” 

The new generation of soulful and well-rounded artists writing and recording at FAME will have no problem capturing the sound that first put Muscle Shoals, Ala. on the music industry’s radar. For more information about FAME Studios and HOUSE OF FAME Publishing and the artists and contributors, visit

FAME Studios was founded in 1959 and is located in Muscle Shoals, Ala. Other entities under the FAME umbrella include FAME Publishing and HOUSE OF FAME Publishing, FAME Records and Muscle Shoals Records. Current writer/artists include James LeBlanc, Angela Hacker, Jason Isbell, Dylan LeBlanc, Jami Grooms, Jaime Fox and The Uglistick.

Catalogs represented by FAME: Walt Aldridge, Tony Colton, Russell Smith, Dave Gibson, Robert Byrne, Mark Hall, Bruce Miller, Matt Warren, Steven Dale Jones and Victoria Banks.

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