Rick Hall, Famed Muscle Shoals Music Producer, Dies at 85

Rick Hall, 1968
House Of Fame LLC/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Songwriter and producer Rick Hall poses for a portrait in his office at FAME Studios in 1968 in Muscle Shoals, Ala. 

Alabama record producer Rick Hall, who recorded some of the biggest musical acts of the 1960s and '70s and helped develop the fabled "Muscle Shoals sound," has died.

Longtime friend Judy Hood says Hall died at his home Tuesday (Jan. 2) following a fight with cancer. He was 85.

Hall founded FAME Recording Studios in northwestern Alabama in 1959 and went on to record major acts including R&B stars Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett.

Hall also recorded country artists including George Jones and Brenda Lee and produced pop acts including Paul Anka and The Osmonds.

A new generation of listeners knows Hall through the 2013 documentary Muscle Shoals. The movie tells the story of Hall, the region's musicians and its distinctive, soulful sound featuring heavy bass, electric piano or organ and drums.

Jason Isbell and more mourned Hall's death via Twitter: