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Muscle Shoals Swamper Barry Beckett Has Died

Posted: Jun 12, 2009

The Swampland flag is once again flying at half mast. A member of the Muscle Shoals “Swampers” has died. Producer and Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section keyboardist Barry Beckett, 66,  died Wednesday, June 10, at his home in Hendersonville, Tenn., after years of struggling with various illnesses.

"He was one of the greatest friends I ever had," said Dick Cooper, who worked as Beckett’s assistant for almost six years. “Barry, along with Jerry Wexler,  taught him everything he knows about the music business.”

The Swampers, which included Beckett, guitarist Jimmy Johnson, bassist David Hood and drummer Roger Hawkins played with countless performers, from Paul Simon to Aretha Franklin to The Staple Singers. The legendary foursome was further immortalized in the mid-seventies in the Lynyrd Skynyrd hit “Sweet Home Alabama.”

Beckett was a top producer as well, working with early Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Alabama, Dire Straits, Kenny Chesney, T. Graham Brown, Delbert McClinton and Phish, to name a few.

He moved to Nashville in 1982 to become A&R man for Warner Brothers Records country division, and co-produced Williams, Jr.'s records with Jim Ed Norman. After leaving Warner, he produced records independently.

Beckett had previously been diagnosed with prostate cancer and later with thyroid cancer. He had also suffered several strokes, and had been cared for by Hospice over the past few days. Funeral arrangements are pending.

-Michael Buffalo Smith

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flashing lights says...

Everyone need a wholesale pen and all of us hold a wholesale umbrella in case of the bad weather, so they are good tools to promote your new brand. A stress ball is a good tool to release stress.

gravyboat says...

"Lord they get me off so much, make me high when I'm feeling blue now how bout you?"

msjuju says...

may he rest in peace... he was so talented.. they're playing great music "up there".....

thunderfoot says...

another good one gone. The Swampers were the best band ever. rip Barry.

OhioGuy says...

Barry Beckett was a southern rock legend. His credits are phenomenal. Personally, I will remember him from his brilliant work with early Skynyrd, his contributions on "Fire Lake" by Bob Seger, and the monstrous production on the 1993 Skynyrd album "The Last Rebel". Rest in Peace Barry.

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