I fixed it up and I run my Super Reverb into it, and you talk about a sound. You can hear it on my two Atlantic records, "Stay" and "Louie Louie," I'm playing through one of them old gray drive-in speakers.
I've never heard a pedal or anything that could get that sound. Did you have any interest in designing your own commercially available effects pedals or anything like that? Nah, I was just a young 15, year-old just playing and chasing girls.
Several decades later, how did you find out Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and Jimmy Page were fans of some of your early records? We were in England with Little Richard, touring and they told me later they didn't even know I was playing with Little Richard. When Little Richard introduced the band he introduced me as his band leader and guitar player.
Robert Plant told me later, him and Jimmy, when Little Richard said that, they both looked at each other and just said "'Scratchy'! Jimmy told me "Scratchy," "Firefly," those are the ones that really inspired him to bear down.
He said, "I could play 'Scratchy' but I never could play 'Firefly. A Rolling Stone magazine writer named Greg Shaw once described your track "Fire Fly" as "the fastest guitar playing I had ever heard in my life. I loved Van Alabama (Vinyl) and there were some other guitar players out there who played good and fast. I love Tommy Emmanuel.
I think he's one of the best in the business out there. I tell everybody, to play fast you've got to know Muscle Shoals you're going first, on the neck of the guitar. But nobody plays fast like Travis Wammack. Since I taught myself I don't play no chromatic scales and stuff. Not being smart or anything, but I've never copied anybody, Alabama (mono) - Travis Wammack - Muscle Shoals.
What do you remember about playing on "Patches," Clarence Carter's country-soul hit? I had moved down from Memphis and Rick said, "I know you know a bunch of great musicians in Memphis.
I want you to bring me three or four of everything up there - bass players, guitar players, drummers, whatever. All I remember is everyone called him Moon Dog. He was a great drummer but he never did studio work much and he was having a little trouble putting it in the pocket, and so on "Patches" - I'm a drummer, started out on drums - Rick Hall had me shaking a maraca keeping the time going, so Moon Dog could lock into the pocket of the thing.
So I started out on "Patches" playing a maraca. And then I overdubbed a guitar and some harmonica. And what a great song. What a great hit for Clarence Carter. Rick wanted to get that little Martin guitar sound that she did on "Ode to Billy Joe" and she wasn't playing guitar on it. Rick said, "Bobbie are you going to play your guitar on this?
I'd like to keep that 'Ode to Billy Joe' sound" and she said, "Sure. My understanding is you're not completely sure which of Aretha Franklin's Muscle Shoals tracks you played on. And to be honest with you, I don't know if my guitar was ever put on, because Rick changed He'd be listening to something that night and if he could get me or he'd get somebody else and go in there and change it. Then he'd go back and have a copy of what I played And so it was hard to tell who played on what.
Wilson Pickett had such a powerful voice. What was it like cutting with him? He was. He was a screamer, man. I can tell you a story. We were fixing to record one day, me and the other guitar player, Junior Lowe, there was a little store next door and we went over there and got us some peanuts and we were in the studio eating peanuts when Rick Hall and Wilson Pickett come in and Rick introduced us and everything.
We went back there over by our amps and I see Wilson looking over at us and saying something to Rick and finally Rick come over to us and said, "Hey guys, need to get rid of the peanuts. Wilson said it was bad luck to eat peanuts on a session. So we got rid of the peanuts. It was tough. But there's a saying: "If you can work for Rick Hall for a year you can work for anybody.
And he busted ass - I mean, he was a mover. And if you could hang, it's good. I always got along pretty good with him. I never took a lot of b off him, I spoke my piece and he respected me for it.
The writer of it, me and him grew up together in Memphis, played shows and stuff, George Jackson. I said, "Just drop a cassette off" and he said, "No, we haven't even demoed it. And I took it out to Rick after he got back from lunch. And I'm sure, after George had left him, Rick probably had a bad taste in his mouth, but he listened to it and said, "Travis, we can write them all day like that. I think Little Richard was in his prime when we did that album.
He was singing his butt off. Me and Junior Lowe had written this song about two weeks before called "Greenwood, Mississippi" and we didn't know Little Richard was coming to the studio.
We cut the demo. And lo and behold, Little Richard and his entourage walks into the studio. And we're talking and I said, "Me and Junior wrote a song and we agreed it sounds like you or John Fogerty. Me and him are good friends. What's the name of it? I'd like to hear it. I'm watching Little Richard in the vocal booth and he's shaking his head.
And finally, he comes out of the booth and says, "Travis, where is that music you were singing with? Because I'll put my vocal on the demo. I want to sing on that music track. And we also cut it on Tom Jones and what a killer version. He nailed it. I loved it. Those guys were good. I knew a couple of them and the interpretation they did was just super. That Clinton didn't show up to play sax with us. But the best thing was getting to hear Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt at the other end of the hotel rehearsing.
What was your very first guitar like? My dad brought a guitar in, when I was probably about eight years old. I came from a large family. I had two sisters and three brothers and we were very, very poor and my dad he played guitar a little. But he picked a guitar up at a pawn shop and brought it in and he said, "Here's a guitar.
Any of y'all want to learn how to play? The neck was too long, I couldn't chord it, so he took a pencil and an old shoestring and made me homemade capo to where my arms could reach the fretboard and I started playing that old Craftsman guitar. And been playing ever since. What guitars did you use your early sessions?
I started out in Memphis with Muscle Shoals Les Paul, cherry sunburst, one of the first ones that came out. And I moved from that, about a year later, to a Gibson and played it up to about 15 years ago.
The Rosenbaum House is only one of a handful of Usonian properties remaining in America and it contains original furnishings which can be viewed on your tour. If you are interested in architecture and the use of natural materials in housing, make this your first stop.
S city recording studios, but by the mids it was one of the best-known studios in the world! In fact, over the past 50 years, FAME Recording Studios have recorded or published over million records which have sold worldwide. Today, you can see where the magic happens on a tour of the recording studios, listen to tracks which were recorded there, view photos and even record your own music in this iconic space.
Ivy Green was the birthplace of Helen Keller who was left deaf and blind after a childhood illness. It soon became clear than Helen was a determined girl and was not going to let this affect her quality of life. She taught herself to read Braille and went onto write 11 books, several articles and lectured all over the world. At Alabama (mono) - Travis Wammack - Muscle Shoals home, Ivy Green, you can see where she grew up, and browse hundreds of personal effects, pieces of memorabilia, and even see the famous well-pump where she would sit to learn.
If you are travelling in late June, you can also enjoy the annual Helen Keller Festival held at her former home in Tuscumbia. Source: facebook. Source: George Green, U. Wilson Dam is an impressive structure stretching 1, metres in length, spanning the Tennessee River between Florence and Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
You can hike the trails to gain incredible Muscle Shoals of Wilson Dam and Lock, or head to the revolving restaurant of a nearby hotel for an elevated degree panoramic perspective. The former coffin show room was transformed into a music studio in the late s, when it was opened in direct competition to FAME Recording Studios.
The studio interiors still date to the s, with analogue recording equipment, instruments and memorabilia, and the building has recently reopened to accommodate tours. So, if you want to learn more about these famous studios and experience the same atmosphere as musical greats did in the 70s, make sure you spend a few hours at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.
The Old Railroad Bridge first opened back inand by it had become a fully-functional toll bridge. It was closed until when it was reopened with additional piers to support the lower deck toll road and upper deck railroad. Beautiful Pickwick Lake stretches for 50 miles in length and encompasses areas of Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi. This lake is popular with anglers offering grassy flats, rock bluffs and deep ledges to fish along. Indian Mound and Museum in Florence, Alabama is the perfect place to visit if you want to learn more about native Indian tribes who once lived in the area.
Many prehistoric tribes settled in areas around Florence as the river and shoreline forests were abundant with mussels, fish, berries, seeds and hickory nuts. Inside the museum you can see a vast collection of artefacts discovered in the area, including clay pots, fish hooks, spear points, jewellery and pottery.
In this rare glimpse into the past, continue your journey to the mound — the largest in the Tennessee River Valley, and imagine what life was like in simpler times before commerce and industry took over the area.
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