Many musicians who recorded at FAME Studio once lived on the grounds of FAME Ranch in Russellville for weeks at a time, as the Shoals had few hotels in the ’60s and ’70s.
This weekend, the public is invited to experience the splendor of the bluffs, creeks and rolling pastures on the 1,100 acres of FAME Ranch, now the home of The Alabama Sheriff’s FAME Girls Ranch.
The ranch will be the site Friday and Saturday for the “Giddy Up for the Girls” Trail Ride and Music Festival.
Beginning at noon Friday, gates will be opened to anyone who wants to bring their horses and campers to ride at will and enjoy the beautiful trails throughout the property.
While horses and their riders are encouraged to participate, you don’t have to be a rider to attend.
Participants are invited to bring a lawn chair and just listen to the music and enjoy a burger made from FAME Ranch beef raised on the property.
The official kick-off and welcome takes place on stage at 6:30 p.m. Friday near the original home of the Rick Hall family, founders of FAME Recording Studio.
Music starts at 7 p.m. and features the KGB Band with Kerry Gilbert. Joining Gilbert on stage will be FAME founder Rick Hall on mandolin.
Performing at 8 p.m. will be Bottle Tree.
Band members include singer/songwriter James LeBlanc and “Nashville Star” winner Angela Hacker, guitarist Scott Boyer III, keyboardist Byron Green, bassist Zach Thomas and drummer Jon Davis.
On Saturday, trails open at 7:30 a.m. to ride at will. Concessions and music begin at 11 a.m. with the Cowboy Church band Stampede.
A down-home auction, including trips, sports memorabilia, art and unique items, will begin at 12:30 p.m.
Asleep by 10 takes the stage at 3:30 p.m., followed by James Leblanc and Angela Hacker at 5:30 p.m.
Award-winning recording artist Wade Hayes will perform at 8 p.m. Hayes will perform his No. 1 hit single, “Old Enough to Know Better,” among other hits.
All proceeds from the trail ride and music festival will go to the Alabama Sheriffs’ FAME Girls Ranch, one of four Sheriffs’ Ranches across the state.
According to news releases, the girls, through no fault of their own, are unable to live with their families because of choices made by the adults in their lives. Established in May 2010, the ranch has the capacity to care for eight girls.
A recent addition, Wilbanks’ House, will allow room for eight more girls. The ranch offers a Christian environment with house parents to provide guidance, love and aid in overcoming the trauma and heartbreak they have experienced in their lives.
Donations and public support allows the girls to be cared for in a family setting. Funding for a college education is also provided when possible.
Campers and horse trailers can begin registering at the barn at 4450 Ligon Springs Road at noon Friday.
Signs will mark the turn off Highway 43, going west on County Road 18, between Littleville and Russellville. The $35 fee per horse will include primitive camping, riding and entry to the music festival. The first 300 riders get a free T-shirt.
Riders bringing in sponsorship donations of $100 or more also will receive a sweatshirt.
Entry fee for all others is $5 on Friday night and $10 on Saturday or a tax deductable donation to the Alabama Sheriffs’ FAME Girls Ranch. Ages 12 and younger are admitted free with an adult.
This is a family friendly event. Alcohol is not permitted.
For details, visit the “Giddy Up for the Girls” Trail Ride and Music Festival Facebook page, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the ASYR FAME Girls Ranch at 256-331-3813.