RCA Studio B, 60 years on

Recording artists still keeping the sound alive

Among all the recording studios in Nashville, probably the most famous has to be RCA Studio B. In many ways, it was where the ‘Nashville Sound’ developed, mainly under the direction of the legendary Chet Atkins. But the microphones have not been mothballed just yet, according to a story broadcast on WPLN.

RCA Studio B. Photo: Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

For 20 years (1957 to 1977), Studio B was the birthplace of hundreds of hit records that impacted both the Country and Pop charts. The list of stars who stepped up to the microphone in that studio includes Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton and so many more. My cousins, the Everly Brothers, were there from the beginning, cutting their first Studio B session in November 1957.

Now, Studio B is a must-see stop for visitors to Nashville and the tour buses pull up every hour across the street from my office on Music Square West.  But although Studio B is now a tourist destination, operated and maintained by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, some musicians still find a way to capture the unique sound that only this studio can create.

WPLN-FM, Nashville’s Public Radio station, recently aired a story about musicians and artists who find a way to record songs today in Studio B, keeping that signature sound alive. As an example, JD McPherson recently topped the Americana charts with ‘Lucky Penny.’ He recorded it at the famed studio 60 years after Don Gibson recorded his version of the song in the same studio.

You can hear the audio of that WPLN story and read the text here.

If you want to know more about the amazing history of RCA Studio B, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum published a book, full of stories and pictures, that’s available in the book shop and online.

The Country Music Hall of Fame’s class of 2017

Three all-time greats added to the prestigious roster at the CMHoF

Congratulations to the new inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame. This year, three country music greats move into a very exclusive ‘club.’ Let’s hear it for Jerry Reed, Alan Jackson and Don Schlitz.

Jerry Reed

Jerry Reed. Photo: CMHoF

Jerry Reed (March 20, 1937 – September 01, 2006) achieved worldwide fame with unforgettable roles in movies such as “Gator,” “W.W. and the Dixie Dance Kings” and the “Smokey and the Bandit” series. However, before appearing in movies, he had begun a long and distinguished career in country music since arriving in Nashville in the early 1960s. As a songwriter, Reed was getting cuts on some of Nashville’s hottest acts, including Porter Wagoner. But it was his unique guitar style that made him an in-demand session player and brought him to the attention of Chet Atkins with whom he would later cut a Grammy-winning album, ‘Jerry and Me.’ Reed is one of only five recipients of Atkins’ coveted ‘Certified Guitar Player’ status, bestowed by Atkins only upon those that he believes have mastered the instrument.

Reed wrote and recorded “Guitar Man,” a song that charted for him in 1967. Elvis Presley loved the song and decided to cut his own version of it, insisting that Reed come into the RCA Studio to recreate his guitar sound. Presley went on to record several other Reed compositions, including “U.S. Male,” often with Reed playing guitar on the recordings.

Reed’s infectious sense of humor came across in his stage shows and on his records, including “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot,” “Amos Moses” and “East Bound and Down,” the latter having been featured on the soundtrack of the first “Bandit” movie.  Here’s a link to a Wikipedia site about Jerry Reed. 

Alan Jackson

Alan Jackson. Photo: CMHoF

Alan Jackson (born October 17, 1958) is a well-deserved member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, in addition to enjoying an illustrious recording career. So far, he has chalked up twenty-six Billboard Number One Country songs and sold more than sixty million albums. Of the fifteen albums that topped Billboard’s Country Albums chart, nine have been certified ‘multi platinum’ by RIAA. Continue reading “The Country Music Hall of Fame’s class of 2017”

April edition of ‘Inside Track on Music Row’

Latest column posted; here’s a ‘teaser’

My column, Inside Track on Music Row, is the longest-running country music column in America. It appears in Nashville Music Guide and on websites around the world.

Here’s a brief teaser of the April 2017 edition. You can read the full column here. And while you’re there, you can read about my book “I Know Country!” with 366 day-by-day country music Q&As.

The 2017 CMHoF Brunch will feature The McCrary Sisters

COUNTRY MUSIC HoF NEWS: Easter brunch and music. What could be better! The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will hold its second annual Easter Brunch on Sunday, April 16, with two seatings at 9:00 am and 12 noon. You can enjoy family-style seating and a performance by great R&B Gospel group the McCrary Sisters, plus a special visit from the Easter Bunny. Advance ticket purchase required. Ticket prices are $65.00 for adults, $25.00 for ages 6-12, and the price includes both Museum admission and the brunch. Details and ticket info here.

Charlie Daniels’ new memoir

LEGEND NEWS: Few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than Charlie Daniels. In his official memoir, “Never Look at the Empty Seats” (W Publishing Group, an imprint of Thomas Nelson), fans will learn about his rise from a post-Depression era childhood to becoming a Grammy award winner and Country Music Hall of Fame inductee by focusing on the positives in life. Spanning a career of nearly 60 years, Charlie will share inside stories, reflections, rare personal photographs plus make available lessons learned and sage advice to those seeking a career in the music business. The book releases October 24 in hardcover, eBook and audiobook and is available for pre-order now. For available retailers and more info, go to CharlieDaniels.com.

The Kentucky Headhunters ‘On Safari’

VIDEO NEWS: My friends the The Kentucky Headhunters’ music video for “God Loves A Rolling Stone” can now be seen on TasteOfCountry.com. It is the first single from the Headhunters’ new album, ON SAFARI. “The video for ‘God Loves A Rolling Stone’ is a film for all of humanity. It depicts the struggles that many Americans have endured to keep our country’s spirit great and, in the end, shining. I wrote the song for those who are less fortunate, and the part that God plays in all our lives. In his eyes, we’re all the same. Enough said,” stated Richard Young of The Kentucky Headhunters. See kentuckyheadhunters.net.

Read the entire column (and previous columns) here.