RCA Studio A

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RCA Studio A
RCA Studio A Main Sound Room.jpeg
Alternative names Grand Victor Sound
Javelina Studios
Ben's Place
General information
Address 30 Music Square W # 100
Town or city Nashville, Tennessee
Coordinates 36°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 adjacent RCA Studio B, it became notable and famous 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 houses Low Country Sound, a record label imprint run by Dave Cobb.[3]

History[edit]

Studio A was built in 1965 based on ideas of Chet Atkins, Owen Bradley and Harold Bradley and 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] While Studio B became a tourist attraction and learning facility, Studio A continues to be in use by recording artists to this day.[4] Studio A was also designed to better incorporate the Nashville Sound production techniques.[6]

The building was continuously used by RCA until 1977, when they closed their Nashville offices and sold their properties located on Music Row.[1]

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.[7] Folds rented out parts of the building to other artists, such as Jamey Johnson.[8]

In 2015, Studio A joined Studio B in the National Register of Historic Places.[9]

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

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.[10][11]

At this time Ben Folds, who had been leasing the location for twelve years, managed to collect enough regional and professional support to the point where Curb Records founder, Mike Curb, and local philanthropists Chuck Elcan and Aubrey Preston managed to collectively purchase the building, which became paramount to preserving its historic significance.[2][12]

This critical incident in the studio’s future lead 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 lead to the establishment of grassroot preservationist organizations such as the Music Industry Coalition.[13]

Architecture[edit]

Studio A is the last remaining of only three gym-sized rooms designed by John E. Volkmann specifically to record large ensembles and is large enough to house choirs, orchestras, string sections and a live band.[3]

List of notable artists recorded[edit]

Notable artists who recorded songs at Studio A include:

References[edit]

  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 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 Rau, Nate (2014-09-17). "Demolition papers filed for Studio A building". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2018-04-05. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Douglas, Mason (2016-01-04). Now You Know Nashville - 2nd Edition. BookBaby. ISBN 9781483560113. 
  8. ^ a b Rau, Nate (2014-06-24). "Ben Folds makes passionate pitch to save RCA Studio A". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2018-04-05. 
  9. ^ Sisson, Patrick (2015-08-03). "Nashville's Studio A Added to Nat'l Register of Historic Places". Curbed. Retrieved 2018-04-05. 
  10. ^ Rau, Nate (2014-09-17). "Demolition papers filed for Studio A building". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2018-04-05. 
  11. ^ Gold, Adam (2014-07-28). "Brentwood Developer Buys RCA Studio A". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 2018-04-05. 
  12. ^ Gonzalez, Tony; Rau, Nate. "Revolution and rebirth at Studio A". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2018-04-05. 
  13. ^ Gonzalez, Tony; Rau, Nate. "Studio A Nashville 50th". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2018-04-05. 
  14. ^ "Paramore Drop Single, 'Hard Times,' Announce New Album, 'After Laughter'". Billboard.