Moving Stories: Videos from the American South
The Elegant Alabama Leaning Man
Crew & Credits
Video by 1504
in association with Single Lock Records & Alabama.travel
Run Time: 19:39
Release Date: 10/10/15
Donnie Fritts, Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, T Bone Burnett, Billy Bob Thornton, Willie Nelson, Spooner Oldham, Tony Joe White, Ann Powers, Dan Penn, Billy Swan, Laura Rogers, Jason Isbell & John Paul White
Funky Donnie Fritts is not exactly a household name.
Want to know who Funky Donnie Fritts is? He's a prized treasure in the music industry and a beloved man among his friends, many of them also legends of Muscle Shoals. Fritts never spent one day "in the business" for fame or glory. He did because it was in his blood. He did it for the music. He did it because he could write songs like "Breakfast in Bed," one of the sexiest tunes that ever came out of North Alabama and that wound up on the immortal Dusty Springfield album, "Dusty in Memphis." At age 72, Donnie Fritts is still a writer, a picker, a movie actor and a man of mystery.
Kris Kristofferson says,
None of us can forget the first time we listened.
He saw studios come to the Shoals. It was like stepping on a roller coaster.
In Mexico, Moscow, Mississippi, in opera houses and on aircraft carriers, in castles and casinos, he made a living doing what he loved.
Our heroes became friends and friends became heroes
He played with Dylan, Streisand, Nelson, Cash.
He befriended Muhammad Ali.
We once did 18 months work without a day off.
Sam Peckinpah nearly shot him dead in Mexico.
That was only the second time I ever saw him run.
Yeah, Funky Donnie Fritts has never done much running, only leaning really. And it's all cool because he's a freaking genius.
Just ask John Paul White, T Bone Burnett, Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, Spooner Oldham, Tony Joe White, Willie Nelson, Dan Penn, Billy Swan, Laura Rogers, Billy Bob Thorton and Jason Isbell. Oh wait, you don't have to ask them. They're all in this little 20-minute film.
Donnie Fritts' new record, "Oh My Goodness" is filled with the good stuff, the late at night piano stuff.
It's filled with what Tony Joe White describes as, "the Funky Donnie Fritts leaning in on them chords" stuff.
We think this film, "Undeniably Donnie," is good stuff too.