In Memory of Barry Beckett – 1943-2009

beckettb Barry Beckett, renowned Nashville producer and longtime musician, passed away last evening, further dampening, in conjunction with heavy downpours, the opening day of the 2009 CMA Music Festival.

Beckett was a fellow Aquarian, born February 4, 1943 in Birmingham, Alabama.  He was a noted keyboardist and musician, perhaps best known as a member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section which created the “Muscle Shoals Sound” as part of the recording sessions produced by Rick Hall in the Fame Recording Studio.   

Beckett can be heard on various hits from the famous Stax Records (e.g., the Staple Singers‘ "I’ll Take You There”) as well as playing kDylaneyboards on my favorite Paul Simon tune,  the 1973 pop hit "Kodachrome."   As a A&R rep for Warner Nashville in themid 80’s and later as a producer, Beckett touched the careers of many notable artists, including Hank Williams, Jr., John Prine, Mary MacGregor, Alabama, Kenny Chesney, Bob Dylan (“Slow Train Coming”), Neal McCoy,  Glen Frey, Bob Seger, Delbert McClinton, Joan Baez, Dire Straits, Joe Cocker, Lorrie Morgan, Confederate Railroad, Phish.  A partial discography can be found here and here.

He was inducted into the Alabama Musicians’ Hall of Fame in 1995.  Among other things, Barry enjoyed building model railroad track layouts when not producing hit records.  He, and the music he continued to produce, will be severely missed in the Music Row community and well beyond.

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