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Great Nashville Musicians/Producer Barry Beckett Dead at 65

Famed Music Row producer Barry Beckett has died at age 65...

From Ed Hogan's book:
As a keyboardist with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, Barry Beckett can be heard on hits on Stax Records (the Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There," number one R&B for four weeks, number one pop in spring 1972, and on Paul Simon's "Kodachrome," number two pop for two weeks in spring 1973). As a producer, Beckett's credits include Mary MacGregor (the gold single "Torn Between Two Lovers," number one pop for two weeks in late 1975), Alabama's "If I Had You," Kenny Chesney's "When I Close My Eyes," and Bob Dylan (the LPs Dylan, Slow Train Coming, Saved), and Neal McCoy's "No Doubt About It."

The years spent recording hits with the renowned group of studio musicians with producer Rick Hall at Alabama-based Fame Recording Studio helped Beckett to hone an organic approach to pop music. An approach that colored his producing in later years was having each record (whether it's for a solo recording artist, a group, or a band) sound as if it was done by a band, not just a bunch of uninvolved, clock-watching hack musicians.

In 1985, Beckett left Muscle Shoals, AL, for an A&R position with the Nashville, TN, branch of Warner Bros. He began by co-producing Hank Williams Jr.'s "Mind Your Own Business" and "Born to Boogie" and won a CMA award for Williams' number seven country hit "There's a Tear in My Beer."

Other Beckett-associated releases are Mel and Tim's "Starting All Over Again" (number four R&B in summer 1972); Neal McCoy's "No Doubt About It"; Glenn Frey's "Sexy Girl"; the Forester Sisters' "You Again"; Bob Segar's "We've Got Tonite" (number 13 pop in fall 1978) and "Fire Lake" (number six pop in early 1980) and the LPs Night Moves (number eight pop in early 1977) and Stranger In Town (number four pop in summer 1978); Terry Graham's "Cool Water"; and Delbert McClinton's "Giving It Up for Your Love" (number eight pop in late 1980). He also produced tracks on two LPs from the Muscle Shoals Horns: Born to Get Down (Bang, 1976) and Doin' It to the Bone and Tower of Powerhorn man Greg Adams' 1976 Attic LP Runaway Dreams.


  1. Barry's passing is a great loss for the heart of music. Actually, I've been missing his music for some time now. May his memory instruct all of us who he touched and remind us to keep that sound of "not a bunch of uninvolved, clock-watching musicians (and singers)" going.

    My heart goes out to Mark and all of Barry's family, whom I will keep in my prayers.

  2. John heinrich and I, are saddened by the news received today of the loss of BARRY BECKETT, one of the best producers Nashville has known. His Legacy lives on in the World Wide Music Community! Barry was a pillar in our Nashville Music Community, we applaud him now along with his many Nashville Music Friends and Our prayers are with his family!

    Barry was as many of us know, a part of the creation of the "Muscle Shoals Sound" and brought his feel for music to Nashville, he always put a special Barry Touch on his work! Barry's left the shores of Nashville now but his ship sails on and will continue to sail on in everything he touched as a producer, writer,& session player and a friend.


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