Day 1 You'll See:
- Muscle Shoals Sound Studio Museum
- FAME Recording Studio
- Home and Museum of W.C Handy
Day 2 You'll See:
Day 3 You’ll See:
- Hank Williams Trail
- Hank Williams Museum
- Hank Williams Boyhood Home
Known as the birthplace of jazz, blues, and rock and roll, get ready to tour the ‘soul of Alabama’! Taking your group through Birmingham, Montgomery, Florence, and Muscle Shoals, this trip will highlight all of the most important and interesting places of musical birth. Tour the old and new recording studios that have seen the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Kenny Chesney, and so many more artists, as well as the birthplaces of Hank Williams and W.C Handy. This music, history, and entertainment packed tour has something for every music lover in your group!
Muscle Shoals Sound Studio Museum - Start your 3 day musical journey through Alabama the right way, at this famous and historic musical recording studio in Muscle Shoals. The Muscle Shoals Sound Studio Museum was founded in 1969 by The Swampers and has since then made a huge impact on the music world by recording and/or publishing some of the most famous rock music artists from the 60’s and 70’s. Artists such as the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Bob Dylan, and Willie Nelson have all stopped and recorded a thing or two at this studio. These and other artists have even partied in the basement that you can tour today. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have famously signed the party room, and, more recently, the Black Keys have spent quite a bit of time here. Though it's no longer a working studio, this historical site is one of the most important and influential studios in the musical world. Currently, Beats by Dre is undergoing a project to revamp this studio to its original working condition with more modern amenities to keep current artists pleased.
FAME Recording Studio - Your next stop will continue this historic musical icon odyssey as you travel to the FAME recording studio in Muscle Shoals. A current working music studio, FAME allows your group to tour its facility and see the technology and business aspects of the music industry. Icons such as Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Otis Redding, the Beatles and countless popular country groups such as John Michael Montgomery, the Dixie Chicks, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, and Tim McGraw have all recorded or published through this recording studio. Your group will be astounded at the entertainment and local history produced at FAME, with 350 million record copies being recorded or published in the last 50 years here. Be sure to stay quiet as you pass the recording studio, with daily chances to see current popular artists such as Alicia Keys and Band of Horses recording in action.
Home and Museum of W.C. Handy - End your day in Florence at the home of the Father of Blues, William Christopher Handy. This museum lets you see the beginning of one of the biggest musical movements of the century, the blues. As a child, W.C Handy would visualize bird calls as notes on a scale and let his mind take him to a musical world of creativity. Walk through the simple log cabin Handy lived in while thinking up the St. Louis, Beale Street, and Memphis Blues. A tour of his home will allow you to stand by the piano that started it all as well as view original hand-written sheets of music. A large collection of personal papers, memorabilia, and artifacts will immerse your group into the past world of rhythm and blues with this one-of-a-kind musical opportunity.
Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame - Wake up in Birmingham, one of the most highly recognized musically influenced cities in Alabama. Here, you will start your day at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. This art-deco museum holds countless priceless jazz memorabilia including paintings, instruments, quilts, and personal artifacts from local artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and W.C Handy. This museum will allow your group to gain educational information about the musical culture and history of the location, as well as be entertained with live musical performances! Some of the exhibits within display the life and inspirations of Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, and Lionel Hampton and span from the beginning of boogie woogie to the futuristic sounds of ‘space jazz.' Explore the city’s rich jazz heritage in this 2,200 square foot museum and then step outside to the civil rights district for more rich local history, as well as any of the rich authentic southern food stops nearby.
Club Workplay - This world-class musical performance venue is home to a state of the art performance theater which features local and national acts daily. Tour the venue’s two main concert halls to learn about local architecture, musical history, as well as the mechanics behind what makes great acoustics in large venues such as this. Featuring a 5000+ SF sound stage, countless popular concerts have been hosted in Workplay and your group just may have the chance to catch one while visiting! Local folk, blues, jazz, and country music groups are often featured, as well as nationally touring groups such as Fun, Jimmy Eat World, and Lady Antebellum.
Redmont Hotel - Listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places, this 14-story historic hotel will bring your group's second day of this musical journey to an end as you take in another integral piece of local and cultural history. Opening in 1925 and originally featuring 200 rooms, the Redmont Hotel is the oldest hotel in Birmingham still in use today. The hotel was named after the local Red Mountains, highly used in the past as a mining mecca for Birmingham, and was a key location in musical history with the visitors it has seen stay in its rooms. Hank Williams actually spent his last night in this hotel! The hotel now boasts Alabama’s only rooftop bar and lounge, the Blue Note, and is currently used as an upscale luxury historic hotel, with 120 rooms available currently. A part of the current Curio Collection by Hilton, the state of Alabama takes pride in this historic hotel and allows visitors to tour the lounges even if they aren’t staying the night.
Hank Williams Trail - Your last day in Alabama will be spent following the Hank Williams Trail, a historic life-spanning trail of locations that all were fundamental parts of Hank Williams life, or vice versa. Hank Williams, who was born in 1923 and is famously known for such songs as ‘Hey, Good Lookin’ and ‘I Saw the Light,’ spent his last night at the Redmont Hotel before unfortunately crashing his car the next day in Birmingham which is where your journey will start. Next stop, Montgomery, where Hank spent most of his life. Travel down highway 31 as Hank Williams often did and stop for one of his favorite meals, a chili dog and Coca-Cola, at 100 year old Chris’ Hot Dogs. The trail also takes you to his boyhood home in Greenville, school attending town of Georgina, marriage site in Andalusia, and birthplace in Mt. Olive’s church.
Hank Williams Museum - Located in the birthplace of Hank Williams, this Museum is dedicated to country’s first superstar who sold over 10 million records between 1947 and 1953. Witness first hand that famous 1952 powder blue Cadillac, 17 hand-crafted suits, his 47 Gibson Guitar, his famous blue suede shoes and much, much more. Inside the museum, learn how Hank Williams transformed country music and sewed the seeds for blues, rockabilly, and even rock and roll. Your group will also learn the effect of one of the most powerful icons in American Music in his surroundings, with plenty of local and cultural history involved as well!
Hank Williams Boyhood Home - Finally, your group will see the place that started it all, Hank’s boyhood home in Georgiana. Most heavily influenced by his childhood friend ‘Tee Tot’ who taught him to play guitar, this historic site will let you sit on the very porch Hank and Tee Tot played everyday. Take a tour through the house that Hank grew up in, witnessing the sense of love and active spirit of music throughout every room. Though during his childhood, times were economically tough with a father in the veteran hospital and a fire claiming one of their first homes, this tour will fill you in on what Hank did to happily support his family. When he wasn’t shining shoes or selling peanuts after school, you could find Hank on his porch or in the crawlspace underneath his house singing and playing his guitar, igniting a musical passion in him and the surrounding area that is still seen today.