Percy Sledge

The singer who became famous for the song "When a Man Loves a Woman" died yesterday. Percy Sledge had a massive impact on what became known as the "Muscle Shoals sound".

Sledge walked into a recording studio in Alabama's Muscle Shoals region in 1966. In a few weeks, his signature song "When a Man Loves a Woman" would become the first of his five gold records.

Dick Cooper is the Curator of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. He says Sledge's legacy was defined when he was just 25 years old.

Maggie Martin/APR News

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.