Black History Month Music Panels - February 16


Florence/Lauderdale Tourism and the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area will host a series of music panels as part of a Black History Month program. The event will be held February 16 at the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Visitor Center in McFarland Park and are free to the public. The panel discussions begin at 1:00 p.m. and will focus Muscle Shoals music legends, gospel music and interracial collaborations during the Civil Rights era. 

Interracial Collaborations in Muscle Shoals Music begins at 1:00 p.m. and features Harvey Thompson Sr., Donnie Frits and Mickey Buckins. Racial tensions were high during the Civil Rights Movement. However, many Muscle Shoals studios and musicians were able to bridge the racial divide and work together to record top hits.  This panel will focus on what was actually going on behind the scenes during recording sessions.

The Gospel and Soul of the Shoals panel will begin at 2:00 p.m. and features Harvey Thompson Jr., Jerry Masters and Will McFarlane. While many rock and roll and country hits where coming out of Muscle Shoals recording studios, there was a very active gospel and Christian music recording community.

The Percy Sledge Memories and Music panel will begin at 3:00 p.m. and features Howell Sledge, Percy’s son, David Johnson and David Hood. Sledge recording many songs in Muscle Shoals and is best known for his top hit, When a Man Loves a Woman. The audience will be treated to some memorable stories about working with Percy and growing up in this treasured family.

According to Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Director of Operations Alison Stanfield, “The deep roots of the Muscle Shoals music heritage touches on all genres of music. As a way to celebrate that and honor Black History Month, we have put together this legendary and incredibly talented group of musicians to tell their stories. Andreas Werner of Crazy Chester Music will conduct the Q&A sessions and we encourage our local music lovers to attend and be prepared for some amazing stories and entertainment.”

The event is free to the public.  For more information please call 256-740-4141.

Rachel W