Ghost of the Shoals
By Sandra M. Odell
Pharah Dupree always wore her hair up tight.
“You ever hear of Muscle Shoals, Manny?” she said one afternoon. We sat on the back porch steps of Rock Bottom Studios, her with a cigarette, me with a longneck Bud, thinking about how good it’d feel if she smiled my way. “Some of the best music in the world came out of Muscle Shoals, all the big names. Aretha, Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wilson Pickett, Bob Dylan, Percy Sledge.”
The sun beat the sweat out of me and cut dusty shadows through the trees around the edge of the gravel parking lot. “Yeah. They say the Tennessee River’s what makes the Muscle Shoals sound.”