Hall, who established FAME Studios in the small Alabama town and produced a number of soul, rock and country hits, died this week at age 85. The cause was prostate cancer, according to the New York Times obituary.
Mixing sounds from the shared roots of the blues, jazz, rock, rhythm and blues and country, Hall produced a range of songs, from raw, pulsing dance struts to slower, emotionally drenched narratives.
Black artists like Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin and Clarence Carter (shown in photo) braved trips to the still segregated town to work with Hall and his great in-house band, The Swampers. Along with musical arrangements, Hall was renowned for bringing out new dimensions in his artists' voices, with a few instances of heated conflict.
A captivating 2013 documentary on the Muscle Shoals sound shows Mick Jagger sporting a Carnaby Street outfit as he visits the studio along with the other Rolling Stones.
Hall's recordings were eclectic; he also produced mainstream pop hits by Paul Anka and Donny Osmond.
The recording session with Pickett is one of the greatest in American music history, resulting in hits like "Mustang Sally" and "Midnight Hour." The singer also did a classic cover of the Beatles' "Hey Jude," at the suggestion of a Swampers mainstay, guitarist Duane Allman, who would join his brother Gregg for wider horizons.