Its official name back when Chet Atkins built it in 1965, in a building owned by Atkins and Owen Bradley, was RCA Victor Nashville Sound Studios, but around town it has always been simply RCA Studio A. Elvis, Waylon, Willie, Roy Orbison, George Jones, Tammy Wynette…Dolly recorded “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” in the big room on the same day in 1973! There is a whole lot of history hiding in these nooks in crannies, a whole lotta dirt in the walls, as a friend used to say.
Ben Folds first walked into the room back in 1992 when it was run by producer Warren Peterson under the name Javelina. A North Carolina native, Folds attended University of Miami and had come north to make a go as a session drummer, backed by a publishing deal facilitated by Paul Worley at Sony/ATV. As part of that deal, Peterson opened up the room for free at night so that Folds could work on his own material, which would the following year become the Ben Folds Five.
... Jump forward 10 years, and Folds ... decides to move back to Nashville, and while driving around town on one of his first days back, sees a sign outside the 30 Music Square West advertising Studio Available. ... They soon came to terms; he’s now been there for 10 years. At this point, it is truly Ben’s Studio.
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Photo: John Partipilo