Historic RCA Studio B
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Studio B: Where Elvis Created Nashville
Aside from changing the course of American music, Elvis Presley helped propel Nashville to its self-proclaimed status as Music City. Starting in 1956 and into the early 60’s when the Nashville Sound was being born, Elvis was in RCA’s Studio B recording songs like “Little Sister,” “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” and over 250 others. Elvis even had admittedly cheesy mood lights installed so that he could get into the right emotional place to record. But although he was perhaps the most influential musical artist to record at Studio B, the number of other culture-shaping tunes to emerge from this single-story and otherwise nondescript building is remarkable. In Studio B was recorded Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You”; The Everly Brothers’ “Cathy’s Clown” and “All I Have to Do is Dream”; and Roy Orbison’s “Only the Lonely” and “Crying.” And that’s just a fraction of the artists and their songs who made history in this humble facility. Operated by the Country Music Hall of Fame, Studio B is a seminal space in the history of American popular music, and even if you’re a fool such as I who’s not really a fan of country music, you can’t help but feel that this is a powerful place and you can’t help but recognize the impact that many of the songs recorded here have had upon Western culture (and I don’t mean just country-western music culture).
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