2018 album. 77 year-old singer Willie Hightower and 95 year-old producer Quinton Claunch have made a remarkable Southern Soul record - recorded in Muscle Shoals, soaking up the atmosphere of nearly 60 years of soul music. The band features Muscle Shoals legends Travis Wammack and Clayton Ivey. Also available on CD.
Willie Hightower cut consistently great records from 1965 onwards, recording for Capitol, Mercury and Muscle Shoals’ own Fame Records and, in recent years, has been a stalwart of the live circuit. Quinton Claunch produced James Carr’s Goldwax recordings in the 1960s, regarded by many as the epitome of Southern Soul. Quinton hasn’t lost his touch in picking material and overseeing this record by Willie Hightower.
Quinton, who turned 96 the 3rd of December said: “I had signed a new artist, Alonzo Pennington, to a recording contract and we were looking for the best studio to do an album on him. A good friend in Muscle Shoals recommended that I check out Wishbone Studio. There had been a lot of Hits, cut with them. This reminded me, there are a host of World Class musicians in that area. We checked out the Wishbone Op, and were very impressed with the sound quality and the expertise of the recording engineer, Billy Lawson. Therefore, I booked it for the Alonzo P. project. Lawson told me, he was opening his own studio, & asked if I knew any Old School R&B Artists? I asked if he had heard of the legendary... Willie Hightower. He quickly replied, he had, and asked if I could find out if he was interested? I did locate him, and after a detailed conversation, we signed a recording contract on December 20, 2015. Lawson & I forged a co-production agreement for the Hightower Project, & we recorded the first 4 songs, at his new, Big Star Studio, and the results were, very good! Lawson has since purchased Wishbone, & we’ve recorded the additional 6 songs to complete a 10 song CD and titled it 'Out Of The Blue'.