TUSCUMBIA — Eddie Hinton was a colorful individual, Shoals music historian Dick Cooper said, and a great songwriter who left his mark on the Shoals music scene before his untimely death in 1995.
This past fall, the estate of Hinton's late mother, Laura Deane Perkins, left $67,000 to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, board member Judy Hood said.
Hood made the announcement during Tuesday's board of directors teleconference.
"She left it to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in honor of her son, Eddie Hinton," Hood said.
The hall of fame considered making the announcement about the gift during the 2020 honors and awards banquet in January, but decided it needed its own standalone event. Then the novel coronavirus pandemic hit and events were put on hold.
But Hinton and his family will likely receive the proper recognition later this year when the hall of fame names the small outdoor stage after Hinton as a lasting tribute to the memory of the songwriter and guitarist.
"We are beyond grateful for Perkins’ generosity," Hood said. "We hope others will follow her example and consider the hall of fame in their estate planning."
Like all nonprofits, Hood said the hall of fame depends on donations, and this is an especially challenging time due to the pandemic, which has impacted numerous attractions like the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
"The Shoals community has always been very generous to the hall of fame," she said. "Donations allow us to provide free and low-cost events to the public that celebrate Alabama’s rich music heritage."
"He was a great talent, he really was," Cooper said. "He did as much as anyone to identify the Muscle Shoals Sound. He was there early enough to make a deep impression on the other members of the rhythm section."
He arrived in the Shoals in the mid-1960s and was considered by many in the music community to be the next big thing. He became good friends and writing partners with the late Shoals songwriter Donnie Fritts.
Together they wrote the hit "Breakfast in Bed," which was recorded by Dusty Springfield and the British band UB40.
Hinton also wrote songs for Percy Sledge and Bobby Womack.
Hood said Hinton's international legacy and audience has grown since his death.