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One of the most iconic and influential producers in music to come out of the Shoals passed away Tuesday.
Rick Hall, the founder of Fame Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals, helped launch the careers of Aretha Franklin, Duane Allman, and many more. He died at the age of 85 surrounded by family and loved ones in the Shoals.
The Hall family said Rick passed away from health complications after a battle with cancer.
"He left us a mountain of music," said Rodney Hall, Rick Hall's son.
Hall said his father created a sound all his own, the "Muscle Shoals Sound," which undoubtedly put the Shoals area on the map for music. The Hall family said it has been a devastating 24 hours, but Rick would want them to continue to break barriers in music and that's exactly what they plan on doing.
"Continue his vision which is to make great music with great singers, songwriters, and real instruments. We will continue creating and cultivating the Muscle Shoals Sound," said Rodney Hall.
Rick Hall did a little bit of everything in his career, which started in the 50's. He produced many hits, created the "Muscle Shoals Sound," and in 2014 he even took home a Grammy Trustees Award for his work in the industry. Fame Recording Artist, James LeBlanc, worked with Rick Hall for over 20 years. LeBlanc said Hall's drive as a producer made him tough but separated him from the rest.
"That relentless, 'there's no way I'm not going to make this happen.' That whole old school mentality of I am going to do this or die trying," is how LeBlanc described Hall.
That hard work mentality is something Rick Hall talked about when WAAY 31 interviewed him a few years ago after his biography was released. Hall told us in that interview all the talent in the world doesn't matter if you can't work hard.
"If God gave you talent you still have to work at it very hard," said Hall.
The Hall family said they are overwhelmed by the support of the Shoals community and the music industry.
Rick Hall's visitation will be at Highland Park Baptist Church on Wilson Dam Road in Muscle Shoals at noon on Friday. His funeral will follow after starting at 2 p.m. The funeral is open to the public.
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