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Percy Sledge Dead at Age 74

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Percy Sledge, who entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, died today (April 14) at age 74.

Sledge was interlocked with the song "When A Man Loves A Woman," which set Muscle Shoals on the path toward becoming a mystical musical mecca. It went to #1 in 1966, drumming up lots of business for the local music scene. Soon Atlantic Records was sending work down there, and Muscle Shoals Sound Studios was established. The Rolling Stones even stopped by to record "Wild Horses."

Sledge didn't get a songwriting credit on the tune, although at times he claimed he deserved one. He often told apocryphal tales about the lovelorn origin of the tune, which was mostly improvised at a live show and refined in the studio. A great song and a great loss.

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