The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section is a group of American studio musicians based in the northern Alabama town of Muscle Shoals. One of the most prominent American studio house bands from the 1960s to the 1980s, these musicians, individually or as a group have been associated with more than 500 recordings, including 75 gold and platinum hits. They were masters at creating a southern combination of R&B, soul and country music known as the "Muscle Shoals sound" to back up black artists, who were often in disbelief to learn that the studio musicians were white. Over the years from 1962 to 1969, there have been two successive groups under the name "Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section" and the common factor in the two was an association with Rick Hall at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals. The original group hired by Hall in the early 1960s was Norbert Putnam, David Briggs, and Jerry Carrigan who created hit records that brought recognition and stature to this unknown and out-of-the-way studio. This group was lured to Nashville studios for independent careers. The replacement musicians were Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins, David Hood and Jimmy Johnson; initially called "the Second FAME Gang" but widely known by the nickname "The Swampers". The Swampers subsequently recorded, produced, or engineered classic hits by Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Leon Russell, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rod Stewart, Bob Seger and The Staple Singers. The Swampers were the subject of the 2013 documentary film Muscle Shoals , winner of the 2013 Boulder International Film Festival Grand Prize. They were mentioned by name in the lyrics of "Sweet Home Alabama"(1974) by Lynyrd Skynyrd and appear on the cover of Cher's 1969 album 3614 Jackson Highway .
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