Historic RCA Studio B - 60 Years
Built by Dan Maddox in 1957, RCA Studio B first became known as one of the cradles of the “Nashville Sound” in the 1960s. A sophisticated style characterized by background vocals and strings, the Nashville Sound both revived the popularity of country music and helped establish Nashville as an international recording center.
Hitmakers in Studio B have included Eddy Arnold, Waylon Jennings, Bobby Bare, Dolly Parton, Jim Reeves, Willie Nelson, and Floyd Cramer, among others. For many years, Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Chet Atkins managed RCA’s Nashville operation and produced hundreds of hits in Studio B.
Studio B has also been home to numerous innovations in recording practices, including the development of the “Nashville number system,” a musician’s shorthand for notating a song’s chord structure, which facilitates the creation of individual parts while retaining the integrity of the song.
Following the Mike Curb Family Foundation’s philanthropic 2002 purchase and subsequent lease in perpetuity to the non-profit Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum, the storied studio’s exterior has been renovated and the interior has been returned to its 1970s-era prime as an analog “temple of sound.” Visitors can now tour the historic studio and Nashville-area middle and high school students utilize it as a classroom for learning the science of sound and recording technology.
Anniversary Celebration: August 17-October 29, 2017
Surprise performances will occur during random public tours of the studio between August 17 and October 29. Among the guest performers will be contemporary artists who have been influenced by Studio B recording legends.
Panel Discussion - The King at B: Top Musicians Remember Elvis
August 31 @ 7:30pm
Elvis Presley recorded more than two hundred songs at Historic RCA Studio B, including “Stuck on You,” “Little Sister,” “Good Luck Charm,” “Guitar Man,” “Are You Lonesome Tonight?,” and many of his gospel classics. Coinciding with the 60th anniversary of Studio B’s opening and the 40th anniversary of Presley’s death, four renowned musicians will talk about their extensive work with Presley at the historic Music Row studio. David Briggs began playing piano and organ on R&B and pop hits in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in his teens. He moved to Nashville in 1964, and two years later accompanied Presley on “Love Letters” in Studio B, beginning an association that continued until the singer’s death in 1977. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member James Burton helped popularize the Telecaster electric guitar sound in the 1950s and ’60s before joining Presley’s band in 1969. He led Presley’s TCB Band for eight years, and his guitar solos were a hallmark of Presley’s shows. Country Music Hall of Fame member Charlie McCoy played guitar, harmonica, bass, trumpet, and organ on several Presley sessions in Nashville and Hollywood between 1965 and 1971. Like Briggs, bassist Norbert Putnam played on early R&B hits in Muscle Shoals before moving to Nashville in the mid-1960s. He met Presley at Studio B in 1970 and went on to record over 100 songs with the King. A brief tour of the studio will be offered at 7pm.
Panel Discussion - Hit-Makers Reflect on Historic RCA Studio B
September 21 @ 7:30pm
Music makers will share their perspectives on working in the Home of 1,000 Hits. Country Music Hall of Fame member Bobby Bare's history at Studio B includes recording major hits "Detroit City" and "500 Miles Away from Home," and the classic album Bobby Bare Sings Lullabys, Legends and Lies. Producer Dave Cobb works with Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Lori McKenna, and many others, and is producer-in-residence at neighboring Grand Victor Sound, the studio originally known as RCA Studio A. Lloyd Green is among Nashville's most consequential session musicians, and Studio B was among the places he forged his reputation as a maestro of the steel guitar. Country Music Hall of Fame member Connie Smith's storied career began at Studio B in July 1964 with the recording of "Once a Day," which became country's first chart-topping debut single from a female artist. A brief tour of the studio will be offered at 7pm.