In the summer of 2004, I traveled to Muscle Shoals, Alabama during the W.C. Handy Festival. While there, I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with legendary bass player David Hood, one of the founding members of the world-famous Muscles Shoals Sound Studio. Hood, along with fellow studio musicians Jimmy Johnson (guitar), Barry Becket (keyboards) and Roger Hawkins (drums), left working for Rick Hall and FAME Studios in 1969 to open their own studio. In doing so, Muscle Shoals Sound became the first rhythm section to own and operate a studio, as well as the first to own its own publishing and production companies. MSS was also the first rhythm section to get points on all the records that they played on, something completely unheard of at the time.
Without realizing it, you have already heard Hoods bass as well as the rest of the rhythm section. It was Muscle Shoals Sound that played on Aretha Franklins I Never Loved a Man and the Staple Singers Ill Take You There, as well as on albums by Paul Simon, Wilson Pickett, Traffic, and the Rolling Stones. The list goes on.
In this edition, we talk about his early recordings starting out on trombone and his eventual shift to the bass, Aretha Franklins first Atlantic sessions with Muscle Shoals Sound, Cher, the very first recording session as Muscle Shoals Sound, and what it was like to work for both Jerry Wexler and Rick Hall.
01. James and Bobby Purify – “I’m Your Puppet (edit)”
02. Aretha Franklin – “I Never Loved a Man (the Way I Loved You)”
03. Percy Sledge – “Warm and Tender Love”
04. Percy Sledge – “When a Man Loves a Woman (edit)”
05. Cher – “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man”
Audiography Episode 005 – “A Conversation with David Hood, part 1”
Written and Produced by Len Comaratta