JUDY HOOD, CHAIRMEN
Judy Hood is a marketing/communications professional whose career spans more than three decades and includes leadership positions at the TimesDaily newspaper, the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital and International Paper Company. Three years ago she retired from her corporate communications position at IP to start Judy Hood Consulting.
For the past three years she has been actively involved in supporting the uptick of music tourism related to the critically-acclaimed Muscle Shoals movie. She works with Florence Lauderdale Tourism, the Alabama State Tourism Department and the Shoals Chamber of Commerce to capitalize on economic growth opportunities associated with the film. Judy is chairman of the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation board and also serves on the Alabama Music Hall of Fame board. She is married to Swamper bassist David Hood.
Stephen Badger is a member of the board of directors of Mars, Incorporated, where he has served in several roles, including board chairman. He was one of the largest investors and key developmental influences of Seeds of Change, an organic seed and food company whose mission is to preserve biodiversity and promote sustainable, organic agriculture.
Stephen produced the critically-acclaimed Muscle Shoals documentary which premiered to a standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013. Stephen also conducted the interviews in the film with music business celebrities Gregg Allman, Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Alicia Keys, Rick Hall and the Swampers. Stephen was honored for his contributions to Alabama/Muscle Shoals music by Governor Robert Bentley at the 2014 Alabama Music Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Awards Show. Stephen remains actively involved in the Muscle Shoals music scene as an advocate, benefactor and Muscle Shoals Music Foundation Board Member.
Larry Bowser has been living the dream since 2004 when he moved to Muscle Shoals to become the General Manager of the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa on the Robert Trent Jones Resort Trail. Growing up in Pennsylvania, Bowser had always heard the legend of Muscle Shoals. During his previous role as Vice-President of Finance and Accounting, he discovered the magic of the area in 2001 while working on a feasibility study for the hotel. Over the next few years, Bowser gained a love and appreciation for not only the hotel project but the Shoals community as well. When the General Manager position became open, he packed his bags and moved his family to be a part of something great. Under his leadership, the Marriott Shoals has always ranked as one of the top Marriott’s in North American and has won numerous awards. Bowser has been recognized as Hotelier of the Year by both the Alabama Hotel and Restaurant Association and the Alabama Tourism Department.
Bowser spends his free time listening to music and playing his drums, although he’s smart enough not to quit his day job. He enjoys NFL and SEC Football, as well as the NHL. When he travels, it’s with his wife Vanessa, his daughter Payton and his Stepson Evan, except for the occasional golf trip with his friends.
Grammy winning Producer and Engineer, Dave Cobb was born in Savannah, Georgia. His start in music was as a session player in Atlanta. He later moved to Los Angeles where he lived until 2011. He has worked with such notables as Shooter Jennings, Oak Ridge Boys, Neil Young, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, Anderson East, Chris Stapleton and numerous other award winning musicians. He is best known for his vintage recording techniques. The approach of recording Jason Isbell’s Southeastern was an effort to chronicle an acoustic sound similar to what is found on Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, where non-traditional recording environments captured a live, warm sound.
Cobb met singer-songwriter Anderson East at Nashville’s legendary Bluebird Café. The two ended up making East’s record, Delilah, which was recorded at legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals. In July 2016, Cobb took residency of RCA Studio A on Nashville’s Music Row. The studio is the sister studio next door to RCA Studio B which opened in 1956. The title of Chris Stapleton’s 2017 release, “From ARoom”: Vol. 1” refers to the album being recorded at the Studio.
Rodney Hall is co-owner and president of FAME Publishing and House of Fame music in Muscle Shoals Alabama. Since 1990, he has been actively involved in publishing/engineering/producing at Fame and has worked with several internationally recognized bands and performers including Alicia Keys, The Civil Wars, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Jamey Johnson, Candi Staton, The Drive-by Truckers, Marie Osmond, Marty Raybon and many more.
Rodney was instrumental in coordinating the local portion of the critically-acclaimed Muscle Shoals film and has supported national and international screenings. He is a founding member of the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation board, vice-chairman of the Muscle Shoals Music Association board and an avid supporter of Alabama Sheriff’s Boys and Girls Ranches. He is the son iconic producer/studio owner Rick Hall.
Jerry Phillips is president and co-owner of Big River Broadcasting Sam Phillips Music Organization and vice president, co-owner of Hi-Lo Music, Jerry Music, Charles Rich Music and power Diamond Music Publishing Companies. He is executive producer of the Muscle Shoals to Music Row Live Radio Show and Webcast.
Jerry is a strong supporter of working bands and musicians and has offered high-profile exposure to both new and established artists through Muscle Shoals to Music Row Live and through the Sam Phillips Festival which he established to honor his late father, who is widely viewed as the father of Rock and Roll. In addition to being a top-shelf radio conglomerate, Big River Broadcasting is also a stellar corporate citizen and is involved in many philanthropic efforts throughout the region.
Aubrey Preston was born in the Appalachian foothills of East Tennessee. Preston left the region in his 20’s and ended up in Colorado where he became a very successful real estate magnate in the Rocky Mountain state. It was while in Colorado that Preston had an epiphany that eventually led to what has now become a lifelong pursuit of preserving important elements of America’s heritage and landscapes. Like so many other southern natives, eventually the pull to come home became strong and he returned to Tennessee in 1992. He purchased a turn-of-the-century farmhouse 30 miles south of Nashville in the small community of Leiper’s Fork. He saw potential in the community and it’s revitalization and preservation to put Leiper’s Fork on the map. He transformed the town into a small- town paradise that attracted numerous celebrities.
Aubrey’s passion for music and preserving the music legacy of the southern United States created the Americana Music Triangle. The Triangle is a cultural tourist corridor looking to preserve and promote the roots and birthplaces of Americana music across a five-state region. Preston spearheaded a similar program called the Discover Tennessee Trails and Byways before taking on the Americana Music Triangle. As part of his passion for the Americana Music Triangle, Aubrey became involved with the Muscle Shoals music story by assisting with the preservation and promotion of the recording studios in the Muscle Shoals area.
When historic Studio A on Music Row in Nashville was about to be destroyed by real estate developers in 2014, Aubrey stepped up to the plate and brought the iconic studio at the 11th hour. Studio A is a hot bed of recording activity with resident Grammy winning engineer, Dave Cobb. Aubrey lives in Leiper’s Fork with his veterinarian wife Michele and their dog Bethel.
Billy Reid is an internationally-acclaimed fashion designer who is a major figure in the New York fashion scene. He has won numerous prestigious awards, including GQ’s coveted Best New Menswear Designer in America. He operates six boutiques across the country and his flagship store is located on Court Street in Florence.
Billy has been a major supporter of music, especially the music that is written, performed and produced in Muscle Shoals. His annual “Shindig” event in Florence offers both young and established musicians the opportunity to perform in both public and private venues. He frequently incorporates local band logos into his limited design T-shirts. Billy has been featured in many national media outlets and has never failed to mention his ties to this area and his pride in the music that is created here.
Ian Sanford is currently serving his fourth term as Mayor of Sheffield, Alabama. He operates his family’s real estate business which was established in 1886. He has more than 40 years of experience in real estate sales, residential development rental management. He has severed on numerous civic and business-related boards and is a 37-year member of the Sheffield Kiwanis Club.
Since he has been mayor, he has actively supported the local music business and included local bands in festivals and events sponsored by the city. He recently launched a monthly event in Sheffield to showcase local bands and artists. Ian was instrumental in the production and installation of the first Singing River Sculpture which salutes local musicians and is located in downtown Sheffield.