I went to FAME, the legendary Muscle Shoals studio last year after meeting Rick Hall and reading his autobiography. The tale of a Southern man making his way in the music world and helping to shape the future right here from Alabama was intriguing and the book read very intimately about his personal life and dealings with music industry greats. After the tour of the studio, I sat along the Tennessee River, the same river that I grew up with on the other side of the state, and watched the sun set. It was a rainy evening and in and of itself; beautiful. I recently travelled back to Muscle Shoals for a further exploration of the cool Shoals area and attended Dick Cooper’s birthday party at his house on the river. Dick Cooper is a living legend among a few others still hanging around Alabama, imparting their wisdom to us from time to time. I read up on Dick Cooper’s life before meeting him. I had hoped to speak with him and ask him a few questions. More about that later. Cooper was a band road manager, free-lan
“Dick, I know that Jerry Wexler was very important to you in your life. I read in an article that a couple of years before his death, he was asked what he wants to be put on his tombstone. Jerry answered, ‘Two words: more bass.’ So Dick, what words would you like put on your tombstone?” I realize that that might have been a ballsy question to ask a music legend on the first time you ever met him at his house on his seventieth birthday at his birthday party now that the day has passed. Anyway… He did give me an answer and I have been pondering over it since. He said, “He served greatness.”
So there you go. To sum it all up, straight from Dick Cooper himself.
~ Jamie Godwin