Archival collection FAME Studios Records

Collection Number:
Inclusive, 1959-2005, undated
35.21 Linear feet (27 records cartons, 3 Hollinger box, 1 half Hollinger box, 1018 digital images) 

[Identification of item], FAME Studios Records, Library and Archives, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Recording studio in Florence, Alabama. Includes artist files, contracts, and financial records.
Finding Aid Permalink:
Scope and Contents note

The FAME Studios Records span the years 1961 to 1998. The majority of the collection is contained within the artist files, contracts, and financial records, which consist of correspondence, artist biographies, photographs, and other documents related to the musicians of FAME Studios. Other materials in the collection include administrative files, appointment books, notes, and phone message logs presumably maintained by Rick Hall's administrative assistant. Finally, the collection contains 1,018 color and black-and-white digital image files of Rick Hall, Muscle Shoals, the FAME recording studio, and various artists associated with FAME Studios, including Duane Allman, Paul Anka, Clarence Carter, Mac Davis, the Del Rays, Dominoes, Janie Fricke, Larry Gatlin, Bobbie Gentry, Gus Hardin, Etta James, Little Richard, Clyde McPhatter, Ronnie Milsap, Liza Minnelli, Wayne Newton, the Osmonds, Wilson Pickett, Lou Rawls, Otis Redding, Candi Staton, Irma Thomas,Travis Wammack, and Jerry Wexler. The FAME Studios Records provides a unique look into the business aspect of American country and soul music during the 1960s and 1970s, and documents the evolution of the Muscle Shoals music scene. Original order of the materials was maintained.

Administrative History


Founded in Florence, Ala., by Rick Hall, Billy Sherrill, and Tom Stafford.
  • Rick Hall becomes sole owner and moves FAME to Muscle Shoals, Ala.
  • First hit record, "You Better Move On," by Arthur Alexander.
Moves to current location on Avalon Avenue in Muscle Shoals.
Rick Hall named Producer of the Year by Billboard Magazine.
Rick Hall inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

Florence Area Music Enterprises (FAME) Studios has been a major player in the southern music scene since 1959. Dozens of well-known artists have worked with FAME Studios, including Clarence Carter, Mac Davis, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and Otis Redding. Though his main focus is soul and country music, co-founder and owner Rick Hall has recorded numerous pop artists as well, including Paul Anka and the Osmonds.


"Our History." FAME Studios. Accessed November 22, 2010.

"Rick Hall." Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Accessed November 22, 2010.

Custodial History note

The FAME Studios Records were received by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. as a gift from Fame Enterprises, Inc. (an Alabama corporation) on July 15, 2010.

Separated Materials

Publications, 45 rpm and LP records have been removed to the library collection. Please search "FAME Studios Records" for a complete inventory of these materials. If you are unable to find what you are looking for, consult the Library and Archives staff to ensure these materials are available.

Processing Information

Processed by Christine Borne, Project Archivist. Completed on November 22, 2010. Revised by Justin Seidler, Contract Archivist; Adonees Sarrouh, Volunteer; and Jennie Thomas, Head Archivist. Completed November 8, 2013. Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS and local processing manual.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research. Patrons must sign the Acknowledgment of Legal Responsibilities and Privacy Rights statement on the Researcher Registration form before using this collection. Some of the materials in this collection are confidential and are, therefore, RESTRICTED. Redacted access copies of these materials are available for use. Consult the Library and Archives staff in advance of your visit to ensure access to these materials is available.

Conditions Governing Use note

In furtherance of Museum’s educational, curatorial, research, library and archival activities (including, without limitation, for promoting the foregoing non-profit activities of Museum), Donor hereby grants Museum a royalty-free, irrevocable, worldwide license (A) to use, reproduce, distribute, and publicly display (including to in-person visitors and via any available technological means including the world wide web) the items listed in Schedule 1, subject to the provisions of Section 4(i) below; and (B) of all of Donor’s rights to use, reproduce, distribute, and publicly display the items listed in Schedule 2, provided this license to the Schedule 2 items shall only extend to such rights of use, reproduction, distribution and public display as Museum may exercise without violating the rights of any third person, and further provided that Museum shall be responsible for securing all rights and consents from third parties which may be necessary for its use, reproduction, distribution or public display of such Schedule 2 items pursuant hereto (unless such use, reproduction, distribution or public display falls within “fair use” exceptions to applicable copyright law or otherwise does not violate the intellectual property, privacy, right of publicity or other rights of any third party).