A few months ago, visitors walking through Alabama’s Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia would be flooded with music. A look through the songs in the museum’s jukebox, for instance, and you could play anything you liked-for free.
But today, it’s a different story.
“The Hall of Fame is presently closed due to lack of funding," says Wiley Barnard. He's Executive Director of the Music Hall of Fame. "Our power is off. We’re in the dark.”
Barnard says the museum has been closed since Christmas because it owes money to the state-- about $26,000 to be exact.
It's the Saturday afternoon of the show and several Muscle Shoals musicians are warming up for a sound check. The big drawing card is rhythm and blues legend Percy Sledge, whose signature song, “When A Man Loves A Woman,” was recorded in the Shoals area. It’s a tune bassist David Hood knows well.
Hood has worked with Percy Sledge for 45 years. His job tonight is to get the band tuned up and ready for Sledge’s arrival just before show time. He says almost five decades of doing that has taught him a few things.