Driving with Philip Mitchell in Muscle Shoals


MS Rhythm SectionI

In 1971, Graham was working in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, as a session musician and songwriter. He’d travelled there from Macon, Georgia, with Roger Cowles, an old friend from London. Roger introduced him to the guys at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio (pictured top left), they were David Hood, Roger Hawkins, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Beckett. Says Graham, “I always thought that the ‘Muscle Shoals Sound’ was black but found that they were all white guys”. Whilst backing Prince Philip Mitchell (bottom right)in the studio, Graham got to know him well and wrote some songs with him including ‘Gotta Tell 1Daddy’ (pictured right) and ‘Me, Myself and I’. “Philip was from Louisville, Kentucky and was an ex-boxer who had trained in the same stable as Mohammed Ali. He drove a big car and liked to wear colourful clothes and shades. It must have been quite a picture as we drove around town with Philip all sharp and flashy and me dishevelled and bearded beside him in the car”. Racial tension was still in evidence at that time in Alabama and it was risky for blacks and whites to be seen together. Luckily, Graham had found a room at a motel out of town where the owner, bravely, allowed them to write in the room, “Just so long as they were discreet”.Philip Mitchell

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