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Music Row in Nashville

Music Row in Nashville

Music Row in Nashville TN

Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI)
10 Music Square East
Music Row in Nashville developed in the 1950s as a center of the recording industry. According to the BMI History Book, "Nashville was rapidly becoming one of the nation's major music centers. Business was so brisk that when WSM announcer David Cobb casually referred to Nashville as 'Music City U.S.A.' during a 1950 broadcast, the term stuck. Furthermore, while it has become common to think of country music as antithetical to rock & roll, it is not only one of its main roots but mutually supportive of its development in many ways. Elvis's signing by RCA Victor was facilitated by Julian and Jean Aberbach, owners of the prestigious Hill & Range publishing firm, in exchange for the publishing rights. With his signing, RCA acknowledged the need for a branch office in the Southeast and chose Nashville as the natural location. It was there Elvis's first RCA recording sessions occurred. Nashville played an even more crucial role in the career of the Everly Brothers. Sons of country musicians Ike and Margaret Everly, they had come to the attention of Chet Atkins in 1955, and he, in turn, introduced them to Wesley Rose, who signed them as songwriters to Acuff-Rose. Rose's friend, Cadence Record owner Archie Bleyer, heard the duo and teamed them up with one of Acuff-Rose's foremost songwriting teams, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. The result was a string of classic hits, including "Bye Bye Love" (#2 on the pop charts in 1957), "All I Have To Do Is Dream," "Wake Up Little Susie," and "Bird Dog." Nashville's stature was clearly growing in the music industry, and any number of New York and Hollywood-based publishing companies set up offices in the city. However, as rock & roll now dominated the airwaves, country sales dropped. Record executives realized that country must modify its format to compete in the marketplace and "cross over" onto the pop charts. Two of the chief architects of this transformation were Owen Bradley and Chet Atkins. Bradley, a former staff pianist and bandleader for WSM, was owner of one of the first recording studios on what was soon to be known as Music Row, Nashville's Sixteenth Avenue South. Atkins, a virtuoso guitarist, had been working part time as an A&R assistant for RCA since 1952 and was appointed to run its new Nashville studio in 1957. Each found a way to soften and sweeten country music, thereby facilitating its wider public acceptance. Mellow strings and vocal choruses were added, and the smooth, sophisticated result was eventually dubbed the Nashville Sound." (quote from BMI 50th Anniversary History Book)

ASCAP
2 Music Square West
ASCAP
2 Music Square West
Sony Music Publishing
8 Music Square West
TN2 Entertainment
Music Square West

RCA Studio B
30 Music Square West
RCA Studio B
30 Music Square West
Starstruck Studios
40 Music Square West
Starstruck Studios
40 Music Square West

Gaylord Entertainment
45 Music Square West
United Artists Tower
50 Music Square West
SESAC
55 Music Square West
MCA Records
60 Music Square East

Mercury Records
54 Music Square East
Mercury Records
54 Music Square East
Curb Records
47 Music Square East
EMI Music Publishing
35 Music Square East

Emerald Entertainment
28 Music Square East
Figlio's on the Row
26 Music Square East
National Tape & Disc
27 Music Square East
Sony Music
34 Music Square East

Sony Music
34 Music Square East
Warner Chappell Music
21 Music Square East
Interface Audio
23 Music Square East

Ocean Way Studio
1200 17th Avenue South
Music Row Roundabout
Demonbreun Street

Links:

  • Gaylord Entertainment Milestones
  • Music City, U.S.A. from BMI 50th Anniversary History Book
  • Music History: WSM from Country Music Hall of Fame
  • Music Review links
  • Music Row, Nashville's Music Industry Publication
  • Music Row Roundabout construction
  • "Nashville Music Legend Chet Atkins Dead at 77," Country.com feature story, June 30, 2001
  • "Nashville's first 24-bit 48-track digital recording session at Ocean Way," Da Capo Music press release (1998) and Jonell Polansky from Da Capo
  • "Red Foley: A Shining Moment," Nashville Scene feature story, Weekly Wire, Nov. 8, 1999, about the historic recording session Nov. 7-10, 1949, at the Castle Studios in the Tulane Hotel at Eighth and Church. "The singer spent a little over three days in the studio and emerged with eight Top 10 hits, including the first million-selling country record cut in Nashville. Foley was host of the Prince Albert portion of the Grand Ole Opry, broadcast weekly on the NBC network, he helped catapult the Opry to nationwide prominence. He also played a hand in establishing Nashville as a center of country recording: With the opening of Castle Studios in the summer of 1947, Foley's presence here, along with that of Ernest Tubb, convinced Decca Records executive Paul Cohen to move his recording operations to the future Music City."


revised 9/1/01 | digital photos taken 7/01 by Steve Schoenherr | Recording Technology History
 
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