Aaron Shelton

Date: 1986 September 03
Length: 240 min.
Call Number: OHC257


Radio and recording engineer. Born July 23, 1910. Died April 2000. Engineer for WSM Nashville and WSM-TV from 1930-1975. Co-founded the Castle Recording Laboratory, Nashville’s first professional recording service (1945-1956). During the studio’s decade of operation he worked as the chief engineer and recorded numerous country hits, including Red Foley’s “Chattanoogie Shoeshine Boy,” and Hank Williams’s “You Win Again.”

Interview Summary

1986 September 3
(4 hours)
Nashville recording engineer Aaron Shelton talks about the development of his career. Discussion includes a brief family history; growing up in Nashville; memories of early radio; building station WBAW in Nashville; his start with WSM; description of the WSM studio; early WSM broadcast technologies; WSM programming, including the Pan American broadcast, Magnolia Blossoms, and the Grand Ole Opry; memories of WSM personalities; early Opry performers, including Rod Brasfield, the Duke of Paducah, and Red Foley; the formation of Castle Recording Studio; the first Castle recordings; artists recorded at Castle, including Hank Williams and Red Foley; working with different producers, including Fred Rose and Paul Cohen; comments on Nashville as a recording center; the closing of Castle’s operations; WSM’s move into television; early WSM-TV equipment; and a description of his invention for the television camera.