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RCA Studio A

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RCA Studio A
Alternative namesGrand Victor Sound
Javelina Studios
Ben's Place
General information
Address30 Music Square W # 100
Town or cityNashville, Tennessee
Coordinates36°08′59″N 86°47′35″W / 36.1496°N 86.7930°W / 36.1496; -86.7930

RCA Studio A is a music recording studio in Nashville, Tennessee built and founded in 1964 by Chet Atkins, Owen Bradley and Harold Bradley. Originally known simply by the name "RCA Victor Nashville Sound Studios" (or "RCA Studios" for short), along with the adjacent RCA Studio B, it became known in the 1960s for becoming an essential factor and location to the development of the musical production style and sound engineering technique known as the Nashville Sound.[1][2]

In 2015, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Since 2016, it has housed Low Country Sound, a record label imprint run by Dave Cobb.[3]


Studio A was built in 1965 at its original address of 806 17th Avenue South. The studio was based on the ideas of Chet Atkins, Owen Bradley and Harold Bradley, and was operated by RCA Records until 1977.[4][5] Despite its name, Studio A is actually newer than the adjacent RCA Studio B which was built in 1956. Studios A and B were collectively referred to as RCA Victor Nashville Sound Studios.[4]

The building was continuously used by RCA until January 1977, when they closed their Nashville offices and sold their properties located on Music Row.[6][1] Studio A was sold to Owen Bradley, who remodeled it and operated the studio as Music City Music Hall.[7]

In 2002, the building was leased by Ben Folds for his Grand Victor Sound company and became also known as Ben's Place. He leased the building for twelve years.[8] Folds rented out parts of the building to other artists, such as Jamey Johnson.[9]

Demolition controversy[edit]

The studio grounds passed through multiple owners until in 2014 when the building’s existence was threatened with demolition by a local developer to make way for condominiums.[5][10]

At this time, Ben Folds gathered regional and professional support, enabling Curb Records founder, Mike Curb, and local philanthropists Chuck Elcan and Aubrey Preston to collectively purchase the building, which became paramount to preserving its historic significance.[2][11]

The efforts to save RCA Studio A led to a more consolidated, dedicated and collaborative effort to preserve the musical history and promote creativity within Music Row and the Nashville area. It also led to the establishment of grassroots preservationist organizations such as the Music Industry Coalition.[12]

Historic landmark[edit]

In 2015, Studio A joined Studio B in the National Register of Historic Places.[13] While Studio B became a tourist attraction and learning facility, Studio A continues to be in use by recording artists to this day.[4]

In early 2016, country music record producer Dave Cobb took over the building from Folds for his Low Country Sound record label imprint.[3]

Production style[edit]

Quonset Hut Studio, RCA Studio B, and RCA Studio A were essential locations to the development of the "Nashville Sound." Owen Bradley, Chet Atkins, Bob Ferguson, and Bill Porter produced studio recordings in the Nashville Sound style, a sophisticated style characterized by background vocals and strings. The Nashville Sound both revived the popularity of country music and helped establish Nashville's reputation as an international recording center, with these three studios at the center of what would become known as Music Row.

Designed and built later than Quonset Hut Studio and RCA Studio B, Studio A's gym-sized room, large enough to house choirs, orchestras, string sections and a live band, was specifically designed by John E. Volkmann to more easily facilitate recording the large ensembles needed to create the Nashville Sound.[4] Today, it is the last remaining of only three Volkmann-designed rooms of this size.[3]

List of notable artists recorded[edit]

Notable artists who recorded songs at Studio A include:


  1. ^ a b Garrison, John (2017-10-21). "Iconic signs at Nashville's historic Studio A return after nearly 50 years". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  2. ^ a b "Historic Nashville Studio Saved From Demolition". Rolling Stone. 2014-12-23. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  3. ^ a b c Gold, Adam (2018-02-18). "Three Years After Being Saved, Studio A Still Makes an Impact". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Fausset, Richard (2014-09-27). "As Music Row Shifts to Condo Row, Nashville Cries in Its Beer". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  5. ^ a b c d e Rau, Nate (2014-09-17). "Demolition papers filed for Studio A building". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  6. ^ "RCA Folds Nashville, L.A. Studios: N.Y. Next?". Billboard. 15 January 1977. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  7. ^ Kirby, Kip (6 February 1982). "Nashville Studio Broadens Its Non-Country Horizons". Billboard. Retrieved 7 May 2024.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Douglas, Mason (2016-01-04). Now You Know Nashville – 2nd Edition. BookBaby. ISBN 9781483560113.
  9. ^ a b Rau, Nate (2014-06-24). "Ben Folds makes passionate pitch to save RCA Studio A". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  10. ^ Gold, Adam (2014-07-28). "Brentwood Developer Buys RCA Studio A". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  11. ^ Gonzalez, Tony; Rau, Nate. "Revolution and rebirth at Studio A". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  12. ^ Gonzalez, Tony; Rau, Nate. "Studio A Nashville 50th". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  13. ^ Sisson, Patrick (2015-08-03). "Nashville's Studio A Added to Nat'l Register of Historic Places". Curbed. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  14. ^ "Paramore Drop Single, 'Hard Times,' Announce New Album, 'After Laughter'". Billboard.