Welcome to the Roots of American Music Trail!

The Roots of American Music Trail takes you where musical history was made. Discover the stories of songwriters and musicians whose words and music made hits for the stars in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, earning the northwest corner of Alabama its reputation as the “Hit Recording Capital of the World.”

Step a little further back in time to the early 20th century and learn how W.C. Handy became known as the Father of the Blues as you tour his birthplace and museum. Continuing your travels, you’ll discover that the tradition of great music continues today. Be sure to include time in your schedule to enjoy live music at festivals, restaurants, nightclubs and historic down towns.

The trail travels through the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area and includes museums, recording studios, live music venues and festivals. Start planning an unforgettable trip by watching the video, which shares the story of Muscle Shoals’ musical legacy and is sure to inspire. Check back often for upcoming tours, events and new sites added to the trail.

For more information on music, history and other cultural traditions in northwest Alabama, check out the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area website. The MSNHA created the Roots of American Music Trail to preserve and promote these significant musical sites in Colbert and Lauderdale counties, but there is much musical heritage throughout the northwest Alabama region, especially in Athens–home of both the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention & and Grammy-winning rock band Alabama Shakes. Decatur, another MSNHA city, offers the summer outdoor Paul Stroud Concerts by the River & musical performances at the iconic downtown Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts.

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Don't miss the beautiful

Natchez Trace Parkway

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TAKE The Roots of American Music Trail CELL PHONE TOUR

Explore the Roots of American Music Trail on your own or with a group.
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Check out interviews with Muscle Shoals’ Music Makers.
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