Historic RCA Studio B-once the recording home of popular music titans such as Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, Eddy Arnold, and the Everly Brothers is both a classroom for Nashville area students and a popular cultural attraction.
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."
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.
First made available to Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum visitors in 1977, RCA Studio B was donated to the Museum by the late Dan and Margaret Maddox in 1992. It was operated as an attraction until shortly before the opening of the Museum's new downtown facility in 2001.
Now leased to the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum from the Curb Family Foundation for $1.00 a year, Studio B is co-managed and operated in partnership with Nashville's Belmont University.
The studio has begun a new life as a:
- Learning laboratory for students enrolled in Belmont's Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, studying recording fundamentals;
- Classroom for Nashville-area middle and high school students, learning the science of sound and recording technology;
- Cultural attraction for visitors, who can become acquainted with the studio's place in the evolution of Nashville as the Music City.
Historic RCA Studio B played a major role in establishing Nashville's identity as a recording center. Dozens of country and pop stars made recordings here, primarily from 1957 to 1977, when the studio was operated by RCA Records. A wide range of artist have recorded here including Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Roy Orbison and more recently Carrie Underwood, Marty Stuart, Wynonna, and Martina McBride.
There are few recording studios that can claim the number of hit records that have come from Historic RCA Studio B, located in Nashville's famous Music Row area. A short list of some of these hits includes;
"Are You Lonesome Tonight?"-Elvis Presley
"I Can't Stop Loving You"-Don Gibson
"The Three Bells"-The Browns
"Please Help Me I'm Falling"-Hank Locklin
"Coat of Many Colors"-Dolly Parton
"Last Date"-Floyd Cramer
"All I Have to Do Is Dream"-Everly Brothers
"Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'"-Charley Pride
"He'll Have to Go"-Jim Reeves
and many more......
Historic RCA Studio B is managed and operated in partnership with Nashville's Belmont University. The studio is a learning laboratory for students studying recording fundamentals in Belmont's Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business.
Mike Curb Family Foundation
The museum is grateful for the generosity of the Mike Curb Family Foundation. In 2002, the foundation philanthropically purchased Historic RCA Studio B and subsequently leased it in perpetuity to the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum.