Renowned bassist David Hood shares stories from his life and career as part of the Museum's “Nashville Cats” series, which spotlights musicians who have made significant contributions to country music. This program was recorded on July 8, 2023.
In this interview, led by the Museum’s Michael Gray, Hood discusses his upbringing, becoming a session musician for the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, and opening Muscle Shoals Sound Studio with fellow session players Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins, and Jimmy Johnson.
As a member of the famous Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as “The Swampers”), David Hood has created an unforgettable body of recorded work during his sixty-year career. His first sessions included playing on 1960s R&B hits “I’m Your Puppet” by James & Bobby Purify and “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” by Aretha Franklin. Hood became one of the most respected and consistent studio bassists. He supplied the classic bass line and catchy solo spot on the Staple Singers’ “I’ll Take You There” and lent his groove to classic albums by Willie Nelson (“Phases and Stages”), Paul Simon (“There Goes Rhymin’ Simon”), and Traffic (“Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory”).
His long list of credits also includes Etta James’s “Tell Mama,” R. B. Greaves’s “Take a Letter Maria,” the Staple Singers’ “Respect Yourself,” Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll,” and recordings by Duane Allman, Solomon Burke, J. J. Cale, Clarence Carter, Cher, Jimmy Cliff, Glenn Frey, Levon Helm, John Hiatt, Jason Isbell, Delbert McClinton, the Oak Ridge Boys, Boz Scaggs, and Tony Joe White. Additionally, Hood has collaborated with Southern rock band Drive-By Truckers, fronted by his son, Patterson Hood.
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