Who says there isn’t life after death? Alabama Music Hall of Fame cuts the ribbon! – EVENT PHOTOS

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20131018_2128 copyMUSCLE SHOALS – It was foggy and kind of cool outside this morning. But that didn’t stop the hard working volunteers and employees of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame from pulling off what some say was a miracle. The Chamber of Commerce had a ribbon cutting ceremony and the front doors were opened. Rodney Hall, Lee Sentell, Dick Cooper, David Johnson, Dixie Connell, Patty Tompkins and Polly Baggett… All of these people (and more) have been instrumental in providing stewardship, keeping the faith and putting in long hours to bring this great asset back from the brink.

A press release from the Alabama Tourism Department pretty well says it all:

“The Alabama Music Hall of Fame reopens Friday with legendary recording artists who will jointly celebrate the local premiere of the music documentary “Muscle Shoals” later in the day.

Judy Hood, wife of legendary bassist David Hood, is assisting with the event and said pioneer producer Rick Hall, singing duo The Secret Sisters, members of the Muscle Shoals Sound rhythm section known as the Swampers and other entertainers will participate in a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m.

Gov. Robert Bentley, who appointed new board members with the responsibility to reopen the museum, said, “Alabama has a strong musical heritage and the Shoals can lay claim to a unique musical sound. I’m excited that the Hall of Fame can now reopen in the Shoals and share that musical heritage with more people.”

Bentley praised “the hard work and dedication” of the board and volunteers in revitalizing the attraction.

Acting Finance Director Bill Newton, who serves as chair of the board, said, “We are all excited that more visitors to our state will be exposed to the state’s impressive musical heritage” as a result of Friday’s ceremony.

Museum board members announced that longtime employee Dixie Connell has been named manager and industry veteran Dick Cooper will return as curator. Former staff members Patty Tompkins and Polly Baggett will round out the staff.

The critically acclaimed documentary produced by Stephen Badger and directed by longtime friend Greg “Freddy” Camalier opens Friday night at Carmike Regency 12 in Florence following a 6 p.m. autograph session that will feature some of the ribbon-cutting celebrities, Mrs. Hood said.

The 111-minute documentary of how the Muscle Shoals area became “A Small Town with a Big Sound” details the evolution of Hall’s FAME Studios and the birth of the Swampers. Hit recordings by Aretha Franklin, Bob Seger, the Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, the Osmonds, Etta James, Paul Anka and others prompted the nickname “Hit Recording Capital of the World” in the early 1970’s.

Editor’s note… The person who coined “Hit Recording Capital of the World”, was none other than our friend and contributor, Dick Cooper.

Here are a few photos from the morning’s big event. These photos are nice and large and make excellent prints. So make yourself one! Just remember, they are for PERSONAL, NON-COMMERCIAL USE ONLY! They may not be republished without our expressed, written permission. Thanks!

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