Historic Markers Across Alabama

Percy Sledge/Producer Quin Ivy Norala and Quinvy Studios "When A Man Loves A Woman"

Marker ID:  
Location: intersection of East 2nd Street and North Nashville Ave, Sheffield, AL
County: Colbert
Coordinates: N 34° 45.583    W 087° 41.878
  34.75971666    -87.69796666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


Percy Sledge
"When A Man Loves A Woman"

Hospital orderly Percy Sledge recorded 'When a Man Loves a Woman' at Quin Ivy's studio in 1966. Sledge's breakup with a girlfriend inspired the lyrics credited to songwriters Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright.

The release featured Marlin Greene (guitar), Spooner Oldham (Farfisa organ), Albert 'Junior' Lowe (bass), Roger Hawkins (drums), Jack Peck (trumpet), Bill Coifed (tenor sax), and Don Pollard (alto sax). Greene and Ivy produced the cut. At the request of Roger Hawkins, Ivy played the recording for Rick Hall, owner of FAME Studios. Hall felt it had hit potential and contacted Atlantic Records executive Jerry Wexler, who released it. The song hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was Atlantic's first certified gold record. Rolling Stone magazine ranks it number 54 among the best songs of all time.

Percy Sledge was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Spooner Oldham followed in 2009. Donna Jean Thatcher Godchaux, who sang backup on the hit, was inducted in 1994 with husband Keith Godchaux and other members of the Grateful Dead.

Producer Quin Ivy Norala and Quinvy Studios

Record store owner and WLAY dis jockey Quin Ivy established North Alabama Recording Studio (NORALA) at 104 E. Second Street in Sheffield in 1965. He purchased used equipment, including Ampex 351 and Berlant mono tape recorders and a radio station console. Ivy mounted egg cartons on the studio walls to deaden stray frequencies.

The first song recorded at NORALA was Florence native Donna Jean Thatcher's "I'm Out of Touch." Several months later Percy Sledge cut the classic "When A Man Loves A Woman." With proceeds from the Sledge session, Ivy completed a better equipped studio across town in 1968 and named it Quinvy.

Ivy also produced Tony Borders, Buddy Causey, Jeanie Green, Z.Z. Hill, Ben E. King, Mickey Buckings and The New Breed, Don Varner, the U.S. Male and the Wee Juns.

2014 by Alabama Toruism Department.

End of Percy Sledge/Producer Quin Ivy Norala and Quinvy Studios "When A Man Loves A Woman"