In the “Why didn’t anyone think of that sooner?” category comes the news that 10 famous Nashville Music Row studios are teaming up to offer tours. After years of getting requests from tourists to see behind the scenes of what goes on in the studios on Music Row, it seems that the idea has finally taken hold.
One of the factors that made this decision easier is the fact that all studios need as many revenue sources as they can get these days, but Music Row is also under siege from developers and the Metro to reclaim what’s become very valuable real estate. More tourists to the area could stop those plans, at least for the time being.
Music Row has been endangered for some time, with much new development, as well as Vanderbilt University taking over more and more as the college expands. There’s now a new movement to preserve it as an historic district, but at this point that’s no sure thing.
The 10 studio group is important because in the past, no one wanted to interrupt a session in progress. Having a number of studios in the group means that at least some of the them would always be available. That said, studios will try to schedule tours on their traditional down time, which is mornings and Sunday afternoons.
It should be noted that the famous RCA Studio B has been set up as a museum and has been operating tours since way back in 1977, but that shows the recording process as it once was, and not how it operates today. It’s now owned by the Country Music Hall of Fame and co-operated by Belmont University, which owns many of the great studios in the area.
Music Row Studios participating in the program include Ocean Way Studios, Omnisound Studios, House of David, Spirit Music, Black River Sound Stage and Ronnie’s Place, Catch This Music Studio, Jay’s Place Recording Studio, Columbia Studio and the Quonset Hut, The Tracking Room, and Sound Emporium Studios.
I’d love to see the same thing available in Hollywood. A tour of United, Cello, Capitol, Record Plant and Henson (to name just a few) would be an awesome attraction to the many tourists that come to town every day.