Ardent Studios

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Ardent Studios
Founder John Fry
Headquarters Memphis, Tennessee
Divisions Ardent Records/Ardent Music

Ardent Studios is a recording studio located in Memphis, Tennessee. Ardent Records/Ardent Music is the in-house label.


'60s recorder:
Scully 280 4tr
Later recorder:
Studer 827 24tr

Ardent Studios was founded by John Fry and was initially a studio in his family's garage, where he recorded his first Ardent Records 45's. In 1966 the operation moved into a new store building on Memphis' National Street, which was shared with a bookshop. The original equipment came from the garage operation: Altec tube console, Ampex 2-track, Pultec EQ and Neumann mics–some of which are still in use today. Tom Dowd was consulting with Auditronics on an early multitrack console for nearby Stax Records, and Fry ordered the same input modules for his second board. Next came a Scully 4-track, and the first EMT plate reverbs in the area.

Ardent became home to young producers and engineers such as Jim Dickinson, Terry Manning, Joe Hardy, John Hampton, Paul Ebersold, and later Skidd Mills, Jeff Powell, Brad Blackwood, Pete Mathews, and Jason Latshaw. In 1971, Ardent Studios moved to its present location on Madison Avenue, followed by the acquisition of 24-track recorders, bigger consoles and more gear.

Ardent came to have three studios equipped, all with large format Neve and SSL desks alongside Pro Tools rigs. It is managed by Jody Stephens (also drummer for Big Star, an early Ardent group whose first two albums appeared on Ardent Records label in the early 1970s). All three Big Star albums were named in Rolling Stone's Top 500 albums of all time, and “In The Street,” from their first album, became the theme for “That 70s Show.”

Early on, the studio recorded Sam & Dave, Led Zeppelin, Isaac Hayes, Leon Russell and The Staples Singers, and in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s recorded James Taylor, ZZ Top, R.E.M., George Thorogood, The Allman Brothers, Bob Dylan, Joe Walsh, and Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan. In the 2000s younger artists such as The White Stripes, 3 Doors Down, Cat Power, North Mississippi Allstars, The Raconteurs, Low Cut Connie and Guy Sebastian have recorded at Ardent, and the soundtracks for Hustle and Flow and Black Snake Moan were produced at Ardent as well. To date, Ardent has recorded over 70 gold and platinum albums and singles.


Notable Artists[edit]

Notable Albums[edit]

  • Huey Lewis and the News–Soulsville
  • George Thorogood and the Destroyers–The Dirty Dozen, Bad to the Bone, Born to be Bad
  • Big Star–Keep and Eye on the Sky (Box Set), #1 Record, Sister Lovers, Radio City
  • The Raconteurs–Broken Boy Soldiers
  • The White Stripes–Get Behind Me Satan
  • North Mississippi Allstars–Electric Blue Watermelon, 51 Phantom, Polaris, Shake Hands With Shorty
  • Jim Dickinson–Free Beer Tomorrow, Dixie Fried
  • Alvin Youngblood Hart-Motivational Speaker
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan–Live at Carnegie Hall,The Sky is Crying
  • ZZ Top–Antenna, Afterburner, Eliminator, El Loco, Deguello, Best of ZZ Top, Tejas, Fandango, Tres Hombres, Rio Grande Mud
  • BB King–Blues Summit
  • The Scruffs–Wanna Meet the Scruffs?
  • The Allman Brothers–Shades of Two Worlds
  • REM–Green
  • Al Green–Soul Survivor
  • Joe Walsh–Got Any Gum?
  • The Replacements–Pleased to Meet Me
  • Alex Chilton–Like Flies on Sherbet
  • James Taylor–Mud Slide Slim And The Blue Horizon
  • The Staple Singers–The Staple Swingers
  • Booker T. and the MG's--Soul Limbo
  • Box Tops–Box Tops Super Hits, Cry Like A Baby
  • Guy Sebastian--The Memphis Album [1]
  • Alain BashungOsez Joséphine
  • Led Zeppelin-Led Zeppelin III (Mixing Only)
  • The Angels - Beyond Salvation
  • Johnny Diesel And The Injectors
  • Afghan Whigs- Gentlemen


  1. ^ The Memphis Album Reviews [1] Retrieved 4 Jan 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°8′15″N 89°59′40″W / 35.13750°N 89.99444°W / 35.13750; -89.99444