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Musical Roots Hangout

April 16, 2023 - April 23, 2023

Heritage Acres RV Park • Tuscumbia, AL

This Hangout is currently sold out, but join the waiting list and we’ll let you know if a spot opens up!

Explore "The Hit Recording Capital of the World"

In the 1960s, the area in and around Muscle Shoals, Alabama became known as “The Hit Recording Capital of the World”. Famous bands and singers including Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, the Osmonds, Mac Davis, and Duane Allman came to Muscle Shoals to record hit songs there. During this seven-day Hangout, hosted by Lifetime Members Dory & Bill Johnson SKP# 126254, you’ll retrace the steps of those musical superstars as you explore historic Muscle Shoals and other areas in northern Alabama, the state “where America finds its voice”.

After an introduction to the area’s rich musical history through the documentary film Muscle Shoals: The Incredible True Story of a Small Town With a Big Sound, you’ll see first-hand where it all started. Your guided FAME Recording Studios Backstage Tour will take you “behind the velvet rope” to FAME’s publishing office, Rick Hall’s personal office, and exhibits showcasing the studio’s multiple awards and instruments played in historic recording sessions, as well as visits to the studios where a who’s who of musical royalty recorded their early hits.

You’ll also enjoy a guided tour of the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, founded in 1969 by the group of former FAME session musicians known as The Swampers. Here, you’ll see the studios where artists like Cher, Boz Scaggs, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Dylan, Duane Allman, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Rod Stewart, Willie Nelson and Cat Stevens laid down some of their most famous tracks

You’ll visit the W.C. Handy Birthplace, Museum and Library, which chronicles the life and work of William Christopher Handy, acclaimed as the “Father of the Blues”, and explore other historic sites in the Muscle Shoals National Historic Area along the Roots of American Music Trail.

The interactive exhibits, awe-inspiring stories and incredible pieces of history at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame will bring you closer than ever to Alabama music greats like Nat King Cole, Hank Williams, Lionel Richie and many others. Climb aboard the group Alabama’s tour bus, see Elvis Presley’s original RCA recording contract, and even record your own song in the on-site recording studio!

While you’re in the Muscle Shoals area, you’ll also tour Ivy Green, the birthplace and childhood home of Helen Keller, where you can touch the actual well-pump where Anne Sullivan first reached into the dark silent world of young Helen’s mind. And you’ll experience a docent-guided tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Rosenbaum House, the best remaining example of the famed architect’s Usonian Home concept, promising affordable family housing that would redefine how people thought of their living spaces.

Of course, you’ll have numerous opportunities to enjoy modern takes on that unique blend of country, gospel and R & B that makes up the “Muscle Shoals sound” during live music performances at FloBama Music Hall, Swampers Bar & Grill, and the open-air Rattlesnake Saloon (uniquely located in a cave!). And on the last night of the Hangout, you’ll be treated to an intimate solo performance of “blues-country roots music” by singer/songwriter and Alabama native Maxwell Russell, a Master Blues artist and inductee into the Alabama Blues Hall of Fame.

Optional activities

Choose either or both of these optional activities to add to your Hangout registration. Optional activities must be purchased in advance no later than March 16, 2023, and will not be available for purchase on-site.

Dawson Distillery Tour, Tasting & Dinner – $18/person

The historic Dawson Distillery was the first legal moonshine operation in Northwest Alabama since Prohibition. Your guided tour of the distillery will begin with a talk about the Dawson family’s moonshine heritage and the history of Lagrange Mountain and the surrounding area of Colbert County. After visiting the distillery’s copper still, the barrel barn and the natural springs that supply its pure mountain water, you’ll then get to savor tastings of some of Dawson’s 20 varieties of handcrafted moonshine, followed by a dinner of beef hamburgers (veggie burgers available) with all the trimmings, fresh cut fries, baked beans, and canned beverages and water. 

U.S. Space & Rocket Center – $32/person

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) is a Smithsonian Affiliate nuseum and the official visitor center for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The USSRC, which Time Magazine dubbed “one of the world’s coolest places” in 2019, has one of the largest collections of rockets and space memorabilia on display anywhere in the world. 

Your six-hour visit to the USSRC will include a docent-guided tour through the Davidson Center for Space Exploration, where you’ll journey through America’s Space Race and NASA’s plan to put humans on the moon (including a mesmerizing view of one of only three complete Saturn V rockets in the world) and the International Space Station, and get a glimpse of the future in commercial space ventures and the latest technological innovations. You’ll also get to explore NASA’s “ISS: Science on Orbit” exhibit with full-scale mockups of two of the space station’s modules; wander the outdoor Rocket Park, Military Park and Shuttle Park (with the world’s only full-scale display of the complete Space Transportation System); have a chance to experience the G-Force Accelerator and Moon Shot simulators; and enjoy a fascinating astronomy show in the incredible INTUITIVE Planetarium.

Note: Huntsville is about a 1 1/4 hour drive from the RV park. Participants will carpool to reduce the number of vehicles. At this time, bus tours of the Marshall Space Flight Center are not available, but if they resume by the time of the Hangout, you will have the opportunity to participate in one for a small additional fee.

Hangout location

Camping for the Musical Roots Hangout will be at the Heritage Acres RV Park in Tuscumbia, Alabama. All of our sites are big-rig-friendly pull-throughs with 30/50A electric service, water and sewer hookups, wifi and cable TV. A bath house and laundry facilities are on-site. Well-behaved pets are welcome, but are not permitted in the clubhouse when we are meeting as a group.

Please contact the park if you wish to arrive before the start of the Hangout and/or stay after it ends. Early arrivals and late departures are subject to site availability at the time you make your reservation. You’ll pay the park directly for any extra days at the Park’s prorated weekly rate.

This Hangout is limited to only 30 RVs and tickets will go quickly—so don’t wait to register

Is this event right for me?

Every member is welcome at all Escapees RV Club events. With that said, the Musical Roots Hangout is best suited for members who:

  • enjoy walking and hiking (you’ll be spending lots of time on your feet!)
  • can participate in activities during weekdays (traditional working/business hours)

Please note that many of the venues we’ll be visiting were built before ADA standards and are not fully accessible.

For events designed specifically for working-age RVers, with most activities in the evenings and on weekends, try an Xscapers Convergence. Or for more of an all-inclusive, guided-tour experience, you may prefer one of our Head-Out Programs (HOPs).

Schedule

Activities and schedule are subject to change. Activities marked with an *asterisk are not included in your Hangout fee.

Sunday 4/16

Arrival & check-in at Heritage Acres RV Park

Welcome gathering & introductions

Monday 4/17

Screening of Muscle Shoals documentary

FAME Studio Backstage Tour

Optional Dawson Distillery tour, tastings and dinner*

Tuesday 4/18

Muscle Shoals Sound Studio Tour

Picnic lunch in McFarland Park

Wichahpi Commemorative Wall (“Tom’s Wall”)

Drinks, live music & dinner at FloBama Music Hall*

 

Wednesday 4/19

W.C. Handy Birthplace, Museum & Library

Indian Mound

Lunch at Champy’s Chicken*

Roots of American Music Trail

Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum Home Tour

Potluck Dinner 

Name That Tune/Music Trivia

Thursday 4/20

Alabama Music Hall of Fame

Ivy Green (Helen Keller birthplace & home) tour

Drinks, live music and dinner at Swampers Bar & Grill*

Friday 4/21

Potluck brunch

Hiking at Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve

Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard

Drinks, live music & dinner at Rattlesnake Saloon

Saturday 4/22

Optional day at U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville

Grill-out dinner

Private solo performance by singer/songwriter Maxwell Russell

Sunday 4/23

GTHO breakfast

Check-out & departure

Price & registration

Registration includes:

  • 7 nights RV camping in a FHU site
  • FAME Studio Backstage Tour
  • Muscle Shoals Sound Studio guided tour
  • W.C. Handy Museum admission
  • Ivy Green guided tour
  • Alabama Music Hall of Fame admission
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House guided tour
  • Performance by Maxwell Russell
  • Hiking
  • Social activities
  • GTHO departure day breakfast
  • Hangout hosts

Additional costs to consider: meals out, auto transportation (we will carpool to all offsite activities)

All activities listed for this event are subject to change.

Hangout price

  • RV site, 2 people $699

    Full hookup 30/50A pull-through sites

  • Deduct for only 1 person -$80
  • Each additional person (including children) $130

    For more than 2 people in same rig

  • OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

    Prices are per person

  • Dawson Distillery Tour, Tasting & Dinner $18
  • U.S. Space & Rocket Center $32

You must be an Escapees RV Club member to attend this event. If you are not currently a member, you will be able to add a new membership during the registration process.

  • You are physically capable of participating in the event.
  • Your recreational vehicle, other vehicles, and any other equipment you may use to participate in the event will be in working condition.
  • You will observe all applicable laws (including obtaining relevant licenses) and event rules, and will conduct yourself in a safe and prudent manner while participating in the event. 
  • That although volunteers may be directing and assisting you to your parking area, it is the driver of the vehicle who is ultimately responsible for avoiding obstacles or dangerous situations and is solely responsible for any damage to your property or the property of others.
  • You accept and assume all risks arising from participation in the event, and waive and release all claims against Escapees or its affiliates relating to such participation. 
  • You consent to receive medical treatment deemed necessary if you are injured or require medical attention during your participation in the event, and agree that you are solely responsible for all related costs.
  • You grant your permission to be filmed, videotaped, audio taped or photographed, and grant to Escapees full use thereof without compensation.
  • You will receive occasional email notifications of future Escapees events; however, you can opt-out of these notifications at any time.

The above is only a summary. Please carefully read the full the terms and conditions, assumption of risk, and waiver of claims agreement that will be provided to you during the registration process.

How to register

To register, click the button below and follow the instructions on your screen. If you need assistance with your registration, please call Escapees Event Registration at ‭(936) 755-1060‬‬.

Registration opens Wednesday, November 30, 2022
at 10:00 a.m. Central Time.

After you register

Watch for an email from registration@escapees.com for a confirmation of your registration. If you don’t receive it, call Escapees Event Registration at ‭(936) 755-1060‬ to be sure that your registration was processed correctly.

After you register, please join the private Hangout group on Facebook (a link to this group will be in your confirmation email). We will use this group to communicate with Hangout attendees before and during the event. You will also receive one or more emails before the Hangout with more information as needed.

Cancellations & travel insurance

Should you need to cancel your registration, call Escapees Event Registration at ‭(936) 755-1060‬ between 8 am and 4 pm Central Time, Monday through Friday, or email registration@escapees.com. You may be entitled to a partial refund of your registration fees, depending on when we receive your cancellation:

  • On or before Wednesday, February 15, 2023: $50 cancellation fee, remainder of payment refunded
  • Wednesday, February 15, 2023 through Friday, March 17, 2023: 50% refund of full event cost
  • After Friday, March 17, 2023: no refund

We recommend that you purchase travel insurance after registering to protect your investment in the Hangout if you must cancel due to unexpected illness, death, or certain other contingencies. Travel insurance can also help to cover medical and trip interruption expenses for emergencies that occur during the Hangout. Pre-existing medical conditions are waived as long as you purchased your insurance within 15 days after your Hangout registration fee payment. Get a personalized online travel insurance quote now.

Waiting list

If this Hangout is sold out when you try to register, please join the waiting list by completing the form below. There are usually several cancellations before a Hangout…so if a spot opens up and you’re the next one on the waiting list, you’ll get another shot at registration! (Note: please don’t join the waiting list unless and until the Hangout sells out. Entries received before that time will be ignored.)

Details

Start:
April 16, 2023
End:
April 23, 2023
Event Category:
Event Tags:
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Website:
escapees.com/hangouts

Venue

Heritage Acres RV Park
1770 Neil Morris Rd
Tuscumbia, AL 35674 United States
+ Google Map
Phone:
256-383-7368
View Venue Website

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