Hans Remembers- News headlines from 50 years ago today- Tuesday April 1, 1969.

  • From Songfacts—-
  • After playing on hits for the likes of Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, four session musicians start Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, where they record The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones.When Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins, David Hood and Jimmy Johnson can’t come to terms with FAME owner Rick Hall, they buy a nearby building and set up their own operation. Their studio is in nearby Sheffield, but they call it Muscle Shoals Sound Studios – a name that started as a joke but makes sense because the area is known for the “Muscle Shoals Sound,” not the “Sheffield Sound.”

    The building isn’t much to look at, but you don’t come to the area for the aesthetics: you come to minimize distractions and record with the extraordinarily talented musicians who run the place. Their first hit is “Take a Letter Maria” by R.B. Greaves. Cher records an album there and names it after the address: 3614 Jackson Highway. Many big names show up to get in on the action, including The Rolling Stones, who record “Brown Sugar” and “Wild Horses,” providing footage for their film Gimme Shelter.

    In 1978, they outgrow the studio and relocate to a bigger facility nearby, where they record Bob Dylan, James Brown and Joe Cocker. In 1985, they sell to Malaco Records.

    The original building at 3614 Jackson Highway is bought by Noel Webster in 1999, who along with the purchase gets the name “Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.” The place is abandoned when he buys it, but he eventually restores some functionality – enough for The Black Keys to record their Brothers album there in 2009

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  • The Beach Boys announced that they were suing their record company Capitol Records for over $2 million dollars for unpaid royalties. Back in 1969 $2 million dollars was some serious change.

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  • President Eisenhower’s funeral train on this day was making its way across the country on a train headed for his boyhood hometown of Abilene, Kansas.

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  • The big news in England- the Hawker Siddeley Harrier- the first operational fighter aircraft with Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing capabilities on this day entered service with the Royal Air Force.

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  • On this day the newly formed Seattle Pilots of the American League who would play their first game within a week made a dumb move- they traded an outfielder who up to this point had been in several different teams minor leagues- and who had considered at 25 of quitting the game- Lou Piniella to the Kansas City Royals [the other new expansion team in the American League in 1969}- what did Piniella end up doing- He was the AL Rookie of The Year in 1969- and went on to have a fine career remembered mostly as a Yankee during his playing days- later managed the Cincinnati Reds to their last World Series championship in 1990. I am currently re-reading for probably the 25th time- Jim Bouton’s book on his 1969 as a pitcher for the Seattle Pilots- I will get around to writing a review of this classic sometime during the baseball season. In the book Bouton wrote during spring training that it seemed like the Pilots management didn’t like Piniella. He would decades later return to Seattle as manager of the Seattle Mariners.

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  • Born on this date 50 years ago- former Major League pitcher Frank Castillo. Castillo pitched for six different teams from 1991-2005 but spent most of his time with the Chicago Cubs. His overall record in the majors was 82-104. Sadly, he drowned while boating in 2013 at the age of 44.




  1. Very cool about Muscle Shoals and The Black Keys in 2009. I’ve seen one of those VTO aircraft in action. Several years ago now, we used to have an Air Fair here, and we saw just about everything that flies at those shows!

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