Sweet Home Alabama

TheCustomOfLife / Wikimedia Commons

Tourists traveling into Alabama on interstate highways will soon be greeted by signs saying "Welcome to Sweet Home Alabama."

State tourism and transportation officials say the "Alabama The Beautiful" signs that have stood at the state line since 2003 will be replaced by the new "Sweet Home Alabama" signs over the next few months. Smaller versions of the signs will be on the grounds of the eight state welcome centers to serve as backdrops for travelers' photos.

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.