Sunday, August 12, 2012

Funky Donnie Fritts and The Decoys at MSMA Party

Funky Donnie Fritts and The Decoys at MSMA Party

Alabama Music goes to Muscle Shoals to attend Muscle Shoals Music Association's (MSMA) Christmas Party 2011 at Cypress Moon Studios (formerly Muscle Shoals Sound). Funky Donnie Fritts was on hand to join The Decoys and does it like no one else can.

Donnie Fritts (born November 8, 1942, Florence, Alabama) is an American session musician and songwriter. A recording artist in his own right, he has been Kris Kristofferson's keyboard player for over twenty years. In 2008 he was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

He began playing drums in local bands such as the Satellites and Hollis Dixon at age 15, and later developed into a session keyboard player.

Working closely with Rick Hall, Billy Sherrill, Dan Penn, Arthur Alexander, David Briggs, Jerry Carrigan and Norbert Putnam, Fritts was involved in many of the early songs and recordings created in the Muscle Shoals music industry.

In 1965, Fritts signed with a Nashville publishing company. Songs which he wrote were recorded by Charlie Rich and Jerry Lee Lewis. He later met Kris Kristofferson who was just beginning a career in songwriting. When forming his band, Kristofferson called on Fritts, who continued as his keyboard player for over two decades, performing live, on recordings and in numerous movies.

Through his association with Kristofferson, Fritts appeared in three of Sam Peckinpah's movies: "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid", "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia", and "Convoy" as well as other movies including "A Star Is Born" and "Songwriter".

In 1974 Kristofferson and producer Jerry Wexler co-produced Prone To Lean at Muscle Shoals Sound. Everybody's Got A Song was released in 1998. The album included guest appearances by Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, Waylon Jennings, Delbert McClinton, Tony Joe White, Leroy Parnell & John Prine. It would be another ten years before Fritts released his third album One Foot in the Groove in 2008 produced by Dan Penn with Ron Laury, recorded at Dandy Studio in Nashville.

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