#Arts & Entertainment
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

(Petition Photo Credit: Dick Cooper)

Please sign the petition for The Swampers – the Muscles Shoals Rhythm Section – To be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Whether as musicians, engineers or producers for the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan or Bob Seger, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section - known as The Swampers - were there for monster hits from the 60’s to the 90's. They deserve to be inducted into Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Let’s make it happen!

They crafted the unmistakable sound and founded the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama. They have played on classic hits and albums including R & B, rock and roll, soul, and country. The original founding members include: Jimmy Johnson (guitar), Roger Hawkins (drums), David Hood (bass), and Barry Beckett (keyboards). ThIs incredible and legendary group of musicians should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! Here is the official Facebook page: "Induct the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section / Swampers into the R&R Hall of Fame" https://www.facebook.com/muscleshoalsrhythmsection/?ref=br_rs
Please also sign the petition on Facebook and contact the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame directly as well - info@rockhall.org

The Swampers are featured in the 2013 documentary film from Magnolia Pictures, “Muscle Shoals,” which was distributed internationally following its debut at the Sundance Film Festival. The film is now widely available in DVD (retail and online) and for digital viewing through Netflix and Amazon.com. The Swampers were inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2008 and were inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1995 for a “LifeworkAward.” http://www.alamhof.org/inductees/timeline/1995/muscle-shoals-rhythm-section. In 2009, long-time Swampers collaborator keyboardist Spooner Oldham who worked with them on countless hits including Aretha Franklin classics, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the sidemen category.

Their nickname, “The Swampers” came from singer/songwriter Leon Russell, who recorded with them. The Swampers began recording with producer Rick Hall at his FAME Recording Studios before Beckett, Hawkins, Hood and Johnson left and opened their own Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in 1969. Word spread like wildfire, and before long, many producers came with their talented singers to Muscle Shoals, including Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records. Wexler scored a huge success with Percy Sledge on “When a Man Loves a Woman," and he later brought Aretha Franklin there to record as well as Wilson Pickett. These preceded a long series of artists that he would bring to the Shoals to record with the Swampers up through the 1980's. Stax Records, based in Memphis, even took some of their artists to Alabama. Johnnie Taylor’s R & B hits in the 1970’s and the Staple Singers “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself” were recorded there.

Their playing has graced more than 75 gold and platinum hits with bands and musicians. Jimmy Johnson was the sound engineer for the Rolling Stones hits: “Wild Horses”, “Brown Sugar,” and “You Gotta Move.” They backed Paul Simon on “Loves Me Like a Rock” and much of his “Rhymin’ Simon” album. Bob Seger had them on “Old Time Rock and Roll” and “Mainstreet," and worked with the Swampers for a decade during his arguably most prolific period. Bob Dylan cut the single, “Gotta Serve Somebody” and his two Christian albums, “Saved” and “Slow Train Coming,” with them.

Other artists who recorded with the Swampers include: Rod Stewart who did his worldwide #1 hit, “Sailing,” which was played in the UK back to back for 24 hours during the Falkland Islands conflict; James Brown, Julian Lennon, Tony Joe White, Eddy Floyd, John Prine, Joe Tex, Sawyer Brown, Duane Allman, Glenn Frey, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Jim Capaldi, Boz Scaggs, Joe Cocker, The Oak Ridge Boys, Delbert McClinton, Peter Yarrow, and J.J. Cale, Bobby Womack, Cher, Jimmy Cliff, Dr. Hook, Art Garfunkle, and Linda Ronstadt, just to name some.

The Swampers were immortalized through one of Rock and Roll history's most famous name-checks found in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s song, “Sweet Home Alabama”: “Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers.
And they've been known to pick a song or two.
Lord, they get me off so much.
They pick me up when I'm feeling blue. Now how 'bout you?”

Legendary musicians – classic rock and roll songs – and #1 hits --- all three combine to form one powerhouse reason for their Induction into Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Make it happen. Go on the Facebook link above. Thank you!


"People now still ask me, ‘What is it about Muscle Shoals?’ It’s just a little village on the Alabama border. Why does that music come out of there? It’s an enigma." -- Steve Winwood

"We started to hear this sound coming out and there was an amazing feel. Kind of magnetic, I suppose, sound wise. And then after a while, this word ‘Muscle Shoals’ comes into the picture and you put two and two together. And that’s when I said, ‘If we get the chance, we gotta go down there.’ " -- Keith Richards

"Coming to Muscle Shoals was the turning point. That's where I recorded ‘I Never Loved a Man,’ which became my first million selling record, so absolutely it was a milestone and the turning point in my career." -- Aretha Franklin

"Of course it worked out incredibly and it's been one of the anomalies of the era that Aretha's greatest work came with a studio full of Caucasian musicians. How do you figure it? This is The Queen of Soul, acknowledged....coming out with probably the deepest and most intense R & B of the era.” -- Jerry Wexler



"The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section out of FAME Studios in Alabama were the closest of any group of side men to achieve the fame necessary for induction into a Hall named after this attribute. Their creativity, precision and soulfulness was what they brought to hits by everyone from George Michael to the Staple Singers. As Jerry Wexler used to say when asked his advice on cutting any artist, "go to Muscle Shoals." These Cats should be in."

- Paul Shaffer


"One of the best studio bands I ever played with. You just walked into the studio flipped on the switch and the sound was there. Great engineer too."

- Paul Simon


"By all means they should be inducted--it's a must that these 'Bama guys take that down-home groove to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! That was the rhythm section to die for--Little David, Barry, Roger and Jimmy Mack--they were funky, and they helped make The Staple Singers sound funky. Eddie Hinton, he could play that guitar, too. The guys were fantastic to work with. Pops liked what Jimmy and Eddie were playing, and all of those players did stuff that helped me on 'I'll Take You There,' and on 'Respect Yourself.' We had us a groove. Yes, I'm all for the guys going R&R Hall of Fame--I think they should have been there already."

- Mavis Staples


“Some of the most extraordinary musicians with whom I recorded, who also became special friends, were the Muscle Shoals Sound Section, whom I first encountered via Paul Simon who had recorded his 1973 iconic album, “There Goes Rhymin'’ Simon,” entirely in their studio in Muscle Shoals Alabama, with my dear friend Phil Ramone producing.

When Paul played me the cuts after he returned to New York, I was not only knocked out by the extraordinarily unusual sounds but the MSS's musicianship was remarkable. They were, as we used to say, very, very, “tight” (super together and in sync) and you could feel the enthusiasm of the players that just leapt out of the “grooves”. I went down to record soon thereafter, with Paul’s gracious introduction, and when I was there, I came to understand why the music that emerged from these players was so distinctive and so compelling.

The culture of the studio was founded on their love and respect for one another, as well as their trust of each other. In addition, they loved playing together and shared an absolute love of the music and the performers who came to visit them, myself included. The famous grooves they created were born, not only of musical synergy and remarkable talent, but of the stuff of what makes great records - love, pure and simple.

When you entered Muscle Shoals Sound you were welcomed into their family, and that’s the way you were always treated as a musician and a person. You recorded together, you ate your meals together, you all slept the same number of hours and then you came in the next day and did it again. For them, the music and the sharing in the studio was not about money at all. They were there to go the distance for any of their new friends who came through those doors. They listened and responded immediately to all your suggestions, they were super-respectful, [and] they worked together with you in the studio as long as you could stand up.

Barry Beckett was, in a way, already on his way to becoming an amazing producer. In some senses, Barry was the leader of the sessions. His piano parts were always magical, sensitive, groove-creating and he always gave his all. Roger Hawkins was steady and powerful and his groove locked into David Hood’s bass as if they were brothers from another mother. Jimmy Johnson created some amazing touches, “tasty” electric guitar surprises that sometimes emerged as one of the “musical hooks" of the song. When I was there, Pete Carr, was the wizard on the guitar, though I understand that a number of stellar guitarists joined them at various

Last, the actual sound that came out of the remarkable mixing console and the 16 track tape machine were amazing. The engineers were over the top wonderful, too. Years later, when I came down to MSS to co-produce with Barry Beckett, we collaborated on the single and then the album for Mary McGregor whose song, “Torn Between Two Lovers”, I had written with one of the MSS songwriters, Phil Jarrell. Topping off many amazing recording sessions with them, was this #1 single. We were like children who’d discovered ice cream the day that song went to #1. Most of all, beyond the music, I remember the friendship that to this day still moves me to think about. Amazing. Simply an amazing "bunch of guys”.

"SWAMPERS" aka "Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section"
David Hood , Roger Hawkins, Barry Becket, Jimmy Johnson creators of some of our all time favorite Rock & Roll music with our favorite Rock & Roll singers and musicians. We, the Oak Ridge Boys recorded several albums, CD's In Muscle Shoals, Alabama with the SWAMPERS. Treasured memories and Rock & Roll music success. I think the SWAMPERS deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for helping so many others get in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Thanks for your consideration. William Lee Golden Oak Ridge Boys.

Petition photo credit: photo by Dick Cooper

We, the undersigned, call upon the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (leadership and all concerned committees overseeing induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) to formally induct the remaining members of the Swampers (Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during their lifetime.

These members include Jimmy Johnson (guitar/engineer/producer), David Hood (bass), and Roger Hawkins (drums). Barry Beckett (keyboards) is now deceased, and this petition includes requesting his posthumous induction with his three remaining living partners.

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The Induct the Swampers into the Rock and Roll HOF! petition to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was written by Induct the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section/Swampers into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is in the category Arts & Entertainment at GoPetition.