Native Americans in the Shoals area referred to the Tennessee River as the Singing River, and music has been celebrated in the Shoals at least since then. W.C. Handy, Father of the Blues, was born in Florence in 1873. The blues heritage of the Shoals was again heard in the rhythm and blues music that came out of the area in the late 1950s. In the 1960s, Barry Beckett and Jerry Wexler drew on this strong musical tradition to produce numerous rock and roll artists, at the same time that FAME studio was coming into its own. The Shoals region has produced Grammy winners, CMA winners and inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This area of the digital archive includes chord charts, lyric sheets, photos, personnel credits, and other materials documenting this rich musical history.
The Local Government collection contains images of the people and places in our public safety departments, public works and utility departments, as well as documents from the county courts. These images were provided to the library by local citizens, former department employees and city and county departments. Included in this collection is a photo taken after the raiding of a still during the late 1920s and a photo of a volunteer organization of fire fighters during the early 1900s.
Personal Collections, Photos and Recollections
Personal Collections, Photos and Recollections includes photos, documents and oral histories provided by the people in and around the Shoals area which give an interesting snapshot of life from as early as the 1800s.
Shoals Community contains links to collections which feature churches, houses, store fronts, school buildings, street views and various other images which give a glimpse of the area around the Shoals. It contains a unique collection from the Tennessee Valley Authority which shows scenes of the construction of Wilson Dam during the early 1900s, schools, living quarters, mess halls, recreations hall, medical facilities and buildings from TVA villages, as well as images taken during a visit by President John F. Kennedy.