Muscle Shoals Sound Studio

Also known as: 3614 Jackson Highway
3614 Jackson Hwy., Sheffield, Alabama

Former casket showroom converted to a world famous recording studio


Photo taken by J.R. Manning in March 2020



Street View 


The Muscle Shoals Sound Studio was formed in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in 1969 when musicians Barry Beckett (keyboards), Roger Hawkins (drums), Jimmy Johnson (guitar) and David Hood (bass) (called The Swampers) left FAME Studios to create their own studio. The Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section, as they became known, was the first rhythm section to own its own studio and, eventually, its own publishing and production companies. The distinctive accompaniment and arrangements have been heard on a tremendous number of legendary recordings, including those from Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, and the Staple Singers amongst others.

The original rhythm section that broke away to create these studios first formed in 1967 and initially played sessions in New York and Nashville as well as on the famous FAME recordings. The initial successes led to the arrival of more mainstream rock and pop performers among them The Rolling Stones, Traffic, Elton John, Boz Scaggs, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Dr. Hook, Elkie Brooks, Millie Jackson and Julian Lennon.

Muscle Shoals Sound Studios is located at 3614 Jackson Highway and is Listed on The National Register of Historic Places. Muscle Shoals Sound Studios is a Registered Trademark of Noel Webster U.S.P.T.O. Reg.NO. 3,391,981

The studio at this location was closed in 1979 and moved to a new location. Interest in the old studio was raised in 2013 with the release of a documentary entitled Muscle Shoals. The owner sold the building to the newly formed Muscle Shoals Music Foundation, without the historic recording equipment. A grant of $1 million from Beats Electronics provided a necessary injection of cash. This facility has been restored and is open for tours.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 2, 2006
Reference number
Architectural style
American Movement: Early Commercial
Area of significance
Performing Arts
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic functions
Business; Music facility
Current function
Music facility
Period of significance

Update Log 

  • March 30, 2020: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • February 25, 2020: New Street View added by Michael Miller
  • May 24, 2011: Updated by WillyT: Added Description