Muscle Shoals

Joe Hendricks Elephants

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with outreach manager Todd Montgomery at the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee. Rescued elephants from circuses and zoos across America find peace at the Elephant Sanctuary. Founded in 1995, the sanctuary is not open to the public to ensure a tranquil retirement environment for the elephants.

Fortunately there’s a wonderful educational visitors' center located in downtown Hohenwald. Video displays include the EleCam, providing live-streaming video feed from the elephants’ 2,700-acre habitat—the largest safe haven in North America.

The Elephant Sanctuary podcast show is the seventh in a series showcasing Nashville’s Big Back Yard, an economic and tourism initiative encompassing the Natchez Trace National Parkway in Tennessee’s southwest quarter down to the Shoals Region in Northern Alabama. The town of Hohenwald is located 80 miles southwest from Nashville.

Thomas Wilmer

In the third podcast installment exploring Nashville’s Big Back Yard, we’ll stop in at the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Sheffield, Alabama. The studio opened in 1969 and was quickly marking up the charts with number one hits by the Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, Wilson Pickett, Linda Rondstadt, Rod Stewart, Paul Simon and many more legendary recording artists.

Next up is a visit with Sandra Burroughs, executive director of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Burroughs is also mayor of the nearby village of Lexington, Alabama and she couldn’t resist sharing funny anecdotes about her mayoral duties in the town of 850 residents.

Thomas Wilmer

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer in Florence, Alabama for a conversation with two key players in the Shoals’ regional economic development. Afterwards we’ll visit with Rodney Hall, the son of Rick Hall, founder of the legendary Fame Studios. We'll also meet up with Spencer Coats, Hall’s studio manager.