SHEFFIELD – As the audience gathered around the base of the old fountain on Bob Love Plaza, David Anderson, Bill Matthews and Mayor Ian Sanford wrested the black visqueen from an 18-foot tall statue of a 1950’s era rock ‘n roll guitar player. The statue, sculpted in shiny aluminum by artist Audwin McGee, is the first iteration of such works to be displayed around The Shoals to celebrate our storied and world famous musical history.
Many of the musicians, song writers and technical people who contributed to the “Muscle Shoals Sound” were on hand for the celebration, including Swampers Jimmy Johnson and David Hood; influential recording studio owner and producer, David Johnson; songwriting collaborator with George Jones and session musician, Peanut Montgomery; historian, producer and stage manager, Dick Cooper; songwriter and musician Mickey Buckins; and studio owner and producer, Jimmy Nutt.
The statue and its successors are all funded by private donations. Bill Matthews who, along with David Anderson, spearheaded the drive for the project, told the audience that big plans await as Sheffield’s sister cities begin to erect their statues within the next year to 18 months. Matthews told the audience that the City of Muscle Shoals is next in line for its statue. He also praised Wise Alloys for the generous donation of recycled aluminum allow that was used in the sculptures.
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