View Full Version : RCA Studio B

Julie in the rv mirror
27 Apr 2014, 07:02
Last week, I took a little trip to Nashville, TN for a few days, also known as Music City. :-) I think people most frequently associate Nashville with Country music, though you can find many genres throughout the city, including rock and bluegrass along with plenty of country. It seemed like everywhere we went, there was someone playing live music, sometimes different acts on each floor of the same venue. We tried to get into the Bluebird Cafe (made famous on the TV show "Nashville", but unfortunately couldn't- the place is tiny! (I got a cool t-shirt, though.)

A visit to Nashville would not have been complete without a stop at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. There we saw exhibits covering Country music from it's beginnings to the present- lots of instruments and stage costumes, similar to the Rock Hall. There were a few cars, including Elvis' gold Cadillac (the finish on it is truly beautiful- pictures don't do it justice), and, oddly enough, the Pontiac Trans-Am used in the film "Smokey and the Bandit". Here's a little video about the gold Cadillac- in the last scene, you can also see Elvis' gold-leaf covered piano: http://youtu.be/r8pjula2P4U

My favorite, thing, though, was an affiliated tour of the RCA Records recording studio where many of the the great records that we know were recorded, including over 200 of Elvis' songs- about half of his recorded output. It's also where Roy Orbison recorded "Only the Lonely" (ping Mouse ;) ), and Dolly Parton made her original cut of "I Will Always Love You".

This was supposedly Elvis' favorite studio to record in, and the piano that he played is still there and sometimes used (we were allowed to touch but not play it- not that I could, anyway lol). I also got to stand in the "Sweet Spot", which is the spot in the room where it was determined that the vocal sounded the best, so that is where the singer would usually stand.

The guide told us about how Elvis used to record mostly during the night. When he recorded "Are You Lonesome Tonight", he had all the lights turned off in the studio in order to get the mood he wanted. Because he couldn't see, Elvis bumped into the microphone stand- you can hear the noise just about at the end of the recording. :-) The studio take is the first and only one- in those days, if someone made a mistake, they had to do the whole recording over again, or physically splice tape together.

The guide also talked about how Elvis recorded his Christmas album in the middle of the Summer, so they brought in a Christmas tree and hung red and green lights around to help get him in the mood. A few pictures:

Here's the entire room:


The famous piano: :cool:


Elvis apparently liked to listen to records while he was warming up; the record player (shown here) was sometimes temperamental, and Elvis got angry one night and kicked the cabinet, knocking off the board you see here. They never fixed the cabinet, but kept the board. :lol:


Control Room:


Tribute to Roy Orbison outside the studio. I took this with Mouse in mind, and I got yelled at by the tour guide for going off course, :oops: so I hope he appreciates it! :lol:


"Smokey and the Bandit" car:


A bit of downtown Nashville at night; the lavender-colored building is Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, also a legendary spot (we went there briefly- it was packed!)


One of Johnny Cash's guitars:


27 Apr 2014, 17:40
Very cool! Thank you for sharing the pics. Every year I say I need to get to Nashville! I am a big fan of the older country music and would love to see the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum!!

Julie in the rv mirror
27 Apr 2014, 20:38
I'm glad you all like the pics! :-)

Yevonda, they just opened a new addition to the building- pretty much doubled their space. Everyone there was super nice, and very cool t-shirts in the gift shop, if you like that thing. I definitely recommend a visit there! :-)