When the Alabama Theatre in Birmingham was built in 1927, a trip to the movies was an extravagant affair. With touches of gold and red velvet, the theatre was reflective of the “picture palaces” of its era. Unlike other buildings of its time, the theatre was building using a combination of steel and concrete rather than wood.
There is a reason we have the metaphor “That is music to my ears.” It represents the joy and even excitement that something stirs inside of you—much the same way that music can invoke a spirit of joy and an excited mood. I, myself, love music! I turn it on when I wake up. I cannot drive anywhere until I have the proper playlist on. And although I have not been blessed with an angelic voice, I cannot help singing in the shower. I know I am not the only one who feels this way. For example, I can hardly pass a person on campus on the way to class who does not have a pair of headphones in their ear.
Those of us from Birmingham, Alabama, understand that no matter how many streets we memorize, new restaurants we discover, or neighborhoods that pop up, the city still surprises us. While researching an article entitled “‘Such a Lovely Gift’: Hugh Martin’s Musical Legacy” published in the Spring 2015 issue of Alabama Heritage magazine, the artistic history of the city caught my eye.
Have you read the latest issue of Alabama Heritage yet? If not, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on the Fall 2014 issue. It has so many interesting articles! Music lovers will be especially intrigued by the cover story by Charles L. Hughes: “Creating ‘The Muscle Shoals Sound.’”
Yes, that’s Cher on the magazine’s cover. The article also mentions several other celebrities and their connection to the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio is fascinating. I’ve discovered, however, that other people on the cover have fascinating stories, as well. Eddie Hinton, the person in the front row (far left) of the cover photo, is one such individual. His story was one of tragedy and triumph, and it just begged to be blogged.
In June 1964 civil rights activists mobilized a ten-week crusade to register African American voters in Mississippi, garnering support from more than 800 university students, the majority of whom were white. While fact-checking the details of the Freedom Summer for Stephen Goldfarb’s upcoming book review, I encountered numerous references to songs and spirituals and their essential role in the events of this particular campaign as well as the entire arc of the civil rights movement.
Alabama Heritage BLOG
At Alabama Heritage, we owe many of our successes and smooth operations to our fabulous student interns. We hope that with this blog, written mostly by our interns as well as history students from UAB, our readers will have an opportunity to get to know the students who bring so much to the table with their enthusiasm, hard work, and expertise!
If you're interested in our internship program, check out the details here.