vacation planning: music studio tours

A few afternoons ago, my man and I sat down for what’s surely the first of many road-trip planning sessions. Most of the must-sees this trip are music-related, including a couple studio tours. Poring over the Stax, Sun Studio and RCA Studio B websites got me thinkin’ about other studios that’d be fun to visit someday.
Consider this, my bucket list.

Muscle Shoals Sound Studio

Shown above is Tony Joe White, Donnie Fritts, Kris Kristospherson, John Prine and Dan Penn in front 3614 Jackson Highway, in Sheffield, Alabama. A million-and-a-half artists recorded here, including The Staple Singers, Eddie Floyd, Canned Heat, Bob Seger, Tony Joe White, Albert King, Aretha Franklin, Traffic. Check out a gallery of albums made there here.

Gold Star Recording Studios

Here’s Phil and Ronnie Spector, in this famed Los Angeles studio. This venue hosted artists like Ritchie Valens, Eddie Cochran, The Beach Boys (a portion of Pet Sounds was recorded at Gold Star, including “Good Vibrations”), Buffalo Springfield, Duane Eddy, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, The Ronettes, The Righteous Brothers and Herb Alpert. This studio was also the recording home of ABC’s TV primetime show “Rock & Roll Shindig.”

Hitsvillle U.S.A.

It’s so crazy  to think of how many songs were recorded in this little home studio. Motown greats, like The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson And The Miracles, Diana Ross And the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Martha Reeves And The Vandellas, Mary Wells and the Jackson 5 all recorded here.

Dodd’s Studio One

Pictured above is Clement “Coxsone” Dodd, the owner of Studio One label, with a very young Bob Marley. Lots of Jamaican artists, including Toots & the Maytals, Burning Spear, Dennis Brown, Bob Andy and Skatalites, recorded at Dodd’s.

Olympic Sound Studios

It was a sad day in 2008 when this mecca for classic rock lovers closed down. The Troggs recorded “Wild Thing,” Led Zeppelin made Physical Graffiti, the Rolling Stones recorded six consecutive albums there between 1966 and 1972 and The Who recorded their classic albums Who’s Next and Who Are You.

RCA Studio B

I cannot wait to visit the “Home of 1,000 Hits,” including Bobby Bare’s “Detroit City,” Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors,” Waylon Jennings’ “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line” and a slew of Elvis smashes, like “Good Luck Charm,” “Little Sister” and “Are you Lonesome Tonight.” So. Pumped.

Are music studios hallowed ground to you as well? Any in particular you’d like to visit?




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