Sound of Birmingham

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The Sound of Birmingham is a recording studio and some-time record label founded in 1966 by Neal Hemphill on Bessemer Super Highway in Midfield. Hemphill sold the studio to Don Mosley, who moved the business to its current location, 3625 5th Avenue South, and primarily records advertising, with over 500 jingles in its catalog.

In the 1960s and early 1970s Hemphill operated the studio, in the basement of his plumbing shop, on an "open door" policy, typically not charging session fees for artists who agreed to let him release their recordings. He recorded early work by many artists who later enjoyed long careers in the music industry and issued releases on any of several labels, including "Sound of Birmingham".

In 1971 the studio, which had added WVOK-AM radio personality Hal Hodges as a partner, contracted with Glen Wood and his band, Mama 'N' 'Hem to serve as a regular rhythm section.

In 1975 Hemphill expanded the studio into an adjacent building, adding a 16-track mixing board from Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland studios. Within a year, however, a heart attack forced him to sell.

Musicians who recorded at Neil Hemphill's Sound of Birmingham include R & B artist and producer Frederick Knight, songwriter and producer Sam Dees, vocalist Roszetta Johnson, drummer Ed Massey, bassist Randy Carmichael, singer / songwriter Charles Nettles, guitarist Wayne Perkins and keyboardist / guitarist Ray Reach.

Don Mosley bought the studio's assets in 1976 and reopened in Birmingham. The new Sound of Birmingham made a name for itself in advertising, but also continued to record music demos and some songs for release under Mosley's Transmedia Music label.

Currently, Sound of Birmingham offers master and demo music recording, commercial voice-over and sync to picture recording, sound design and production, mastering and duplication, location recording, enhancement and forensic audio, casting, and multimedia production. The facility has three studios, one with a 24-track digital mixing board.

In 2006 Chicago deejay John Ciba compiled an album of tracks recorded by Hemphill entitled The Birmingham Sound.


  • Barry, Lee (May 29, 1971) "Atlanta / Macon." Record World, p. 38
  • Mehr, Bob (August 11, 2006) "Soul Plumber". Chicago Reader - accessed August 14, 2006

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