Saturday, January 19, 2013

Vintage Recording, Pt. 6

Still to Hot to Handle

Author's Note

This is the final installment of Still Too Hot to Handle. Several parts of the now-out-of-print book have been made available on this blog. They have been cut for space reasons. For additional and more detailed information on historic recording studios and their hits, see Too Hot to Handle: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Recording Studios of the 20th Century by Randy McNutt. It is available through

Top Studios 
(one man's opinion, which might change tomorrow)
and other things

Bunk House was another house label of 
Counterpart Recording of Cincinnati.

The House Label

In the 1960s and 1970s, many studios started their own house labels for clients who had no other place to take their masters. 

Universal in Chicago operated a label; so did Jewel Recording in Greater Cincinnati (Lonnie Mack recorded singles for owner Rusty York’s Jewel Records) as well as Gateway in Pittsburgh. House labels became important to some studios because they offered an opportunity to release product. 

Other studios developed their labels as self-sufficient businesses that became more famous than their parent. Most of the studio-inspired labels never created a lot of national hit records, although local hits became plentiful. House labels differed from the few highly commercial—and successful—labels that used their studios’ names, such as King in Cincinnati and the Fame studio and Muscle Shoal Sound in Alabama. These labels were impressive commercial entities in themselves, and they didn't depend financially on the studios to keep them going. 

The smaller house labels were more necessities than anything else. Studio owners realized their clients needed a vehicle to release product. In time, many of these local studio labels became known among clients and disc jockeys. Other times, labels inspired the creation of studios. In 1971, this happened in Cincinnati when Shad O'Shea, a former disc jockey, opened his Counterpart Creative Studio on Applegate Avenue in suburban Cheviot. He named the studio for his regional label, Counterpart Records, which he founded in 1963. He started using Counterpart as a house label, and added more over the years. 

In retrospect, the house label filled a need and opened up opportunities for the release of new and independent music.  

Counterpart Records became a house label of Counterpart
Creative Studios in Cincinnati.


Based on personal opinion, hit records, clout, and
cultural contributions to their communities and regions.*


 1. CAPITOL STUDIOS, Hollywood, 1950s-1960s.
 2. COLUMBIA STUDIOS, New York, 1940s-1980s.
 3. RCA STUDIOS, New York, 1950s-1970s.
 4. RCA STUDIOS, Los Angeles, 1970s.
 5. RCA STUDIO B, Nashville, 1950s-1970s.
 6. COLUMBIA STUDIOS, Nashville, 1960s-1980s.
 7. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, Chicago, 1950s.
 8. FAME RECORDING, Muscle Shoals, Ala., 1960s-1970s.
 9. BELL SOUND, New York, 1950s-1960s.
10. KING STUDIOS, Cincinnati, 1950s.
11. AMERICAN RECORDING, Memphis, 1960s-1970s.
12. A&R RECORDING, New York, 1960s-1970s.
13. J&M RECORDING, New Orleans, 1940s-1950s.
14. MUSCLE SHOALS SOUND STUDIOS, Sheffield, Ala., 1960s-1970s.
15. MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE (Sun Studios), Memphis, 1950s.
18. UNITED RECORDING, Los Angeles, 1960s.
19. WESTERN RECORDERS, Los Angeles, 1960s-1970s.
20. ATLANTIC RECORDS STUDIO, New York, 1960s-1970s.

*With apologies to a dozen other deserving studios. This list represents no numerical order of preference. Pioneering studios Edison, Victor, and early Columbia excluded.

Fame Recording in Alabama spawned a label.


 Based on record sales, bookings, and musical and cultural contributions to their communities.*

1. UNIVERSAL RECORDING, Chicago, 1950s-1960s.
2.  MOTOWN RECORDS STUDIO, Detroit, 1960s.
4.   KING RECORDS STUDIO, Cincinnati, 1940s-1950s.
5.   J&M RECORDING (and its successors), New Orleans, 1940s-1950s.
6.   SIGMA SOUND STUDIOS, Philadelphia, 1970s.
7.   CRITERIA RECORDING STUDIOS, Miami, 1960s-1970s.
8.   FAME RECORDING, Muscle Shoals,
9.  MUSCLE SHOALS SOUND STUDIOS (One and Two), Sheffield,  Alabama, 1970s-1980s.
10. AMERICAN RECORDING STUDIOS, Memphis, 1960s-1970s.
12. BRIANS STUDIO, Tyler, Texas, 1960s-1970s.
13. ROYAL RECORDING, Memphis, 1950s-1970s.
15.   GOLD STAR STUDIOS, Houston, 1960s.
Honorable Mention: CLEVELAND RECORDING, Cleveland, 1960s-1970s.

*No order of ranking. Must be outside the major recording centers of New York, Los Angeles, and New York.  Although some of these studios continue to operate, the selection period covers only the halcyon days of the regional recording centers during which they operated.

Have you read the original?

Randy McNutt’s 

Too Hot to Handle:

An Illustrated Encyclopedia of American 
Recording Studios of the 20th Century

Loaded with facts, old advertisements, info on gear, and interviews with studio personnel. Learn about the legendary recording rooms, from Edison to Sony, and hundreds of important studios of the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, including Gold Star in Los Angeles; Mira Sound, New York; Bell Sound, New York; Columbia, New York; and, of course, the “indie” touchstones—Sam Phillips’ Memphis Recording Service, Muscle Shoals Sound, J&M Recording in New Orleans, Motown Studio, Cleveland Recording, and King Studio in Cincinnati. This thorough and detailed book lists the hit recordings, the equipment, the engineers, the songs and sounds, and the buildings that made musical history. The book also has a softbound binding, large format, 224 pages, 8.5x11 inches, laminated cover, and 20 pages of rare photos and illustrations.

The book is available from for $25, plus postage. 

For more details, see

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Vintage Recording, Pt. 5

Welcome to RANDY McNUTT's

More Historic Recording Studios and the Hits of the 20th Century


Author's Note:
This is the fifth installment of Still Too Hot to Handle,
first published in 2005 by HHP Books.

The Sounds of America

Selected Hits Singles from the Original
Muscle Shoals Sound Studio
3614 Jackson Highway, Sheffield, Alabama

“Take A Letter, Maria,” R.B. Greaves
“Oh Me Oh My (I’m A Fool For You Baby),” Lulu, 1969
“Always Something There To Remind Me,” R.B. Greaves, 1970
“Brown Sugar,” Rolling Stones, 1971
“Wild Horses,” Rolling Stones, 1971
“It Hurts So Good,” Katie Love, 1971
“Heavy Makes You Happy,” Staple Singers, 1971
“Don’t Knock My Love,” Wilson Pickett, 1971
“Respect Yourself,” Staple Singers, 1971
“A Very Lovely Lady,” Linda Ronstadt, 1971
“Dinah Flo,” Boz Scaggs, 1972
“Tightrope,” Leon Russell, 1972
“Starting All Over Again,” Mel and Tim, 1972
“If Loving You Is Right (I Don’t Want To Be Wrong),” Luther Ingram, 1972
“Kodachrome,” Paul Simon, 1973
“Loves Me Like A Rock,” Paul Simon, 1973
“I Believe In You (You Believe In Me),” Johnny Taylor, 1973
“Lookin’ For A Love,” Bobby Womack, 1973
“Still Crazy After All These Years,” Paul Simon, 1974
“I’ll Be Your Everything,” Percy Sledge, 1974
“Beautiful Loser,” Bob Seger, 1974
“My Little Town,” Simon and Garfunkel, 1975
“Left Overs,” Millie Jackson, 1975
“Touch Me Baby,” Tamiko Jones, 1975
“Night Moves,” Bob Seger, 1976
“Main Street,” Bob Seger, 1977

A baffle depicting the original studio. 

Elsewhere . . .


Louie, Louie“Rock Spit”

Paul Revere and the Raiders recorded “Louie, Louie” before The Kingsmen’s version hit the national charts. The Raiders had already arrived with a moderate hit called "Like, Long Hair," on Gardena Records. Both the Raiders and the Kingsmen recorded their versions of "Louie, Louie" with the same engineer [Bob Lindahl] , in the same week, with the same microphone, and at Northwest Recording in Portland, Oregon. 

Raiders lead singer Mark Lindsay told writer Richard O. Jones, “It was a big dance hit in the Northwest, and if you were a dance band—and I guess we were because we played a lot of dances—and didn’t play it two or three times a night, you were ostracized . . . Ours was released first, but I think theirs was recorded first. I remember that when we were finishing up our session, the engineer, a guy named Bob, told us we better put it out quick because The Kingsmen had just recorded a demo of it, but I think what he thought was a demo was the actual release.” The Raiders version was first released on the local Sande label. Soon Columbia Records, the largest American label, leased the master.

Lindsay recalled that Jack Ely, lead singer of the the Kingsmen, spit a lot when he sang This repulsed the studio engineer, who had just purchased a new microphone. To avoid “a lot of rock-and-roll spit,” Lindsay said, the engineer hung the mic high above the singer. But it didn’t pick up Ely’s voice too well, Lindsay said, and Ely's braces further garbled the vocals. As a result, the Kingsmen’s version came out sounding semi-unintelligible, which ultimately made it so intriguing. “We sold 6,000 copies in Portland and the Kingsmen sold 600,” Lindsay said. “Mitch Miller was the head of A&R at Columbia Records and he hated rock-and-roll, and he only signed us because of the pressure he was getting from the East Coast. So he released our record, but without any promotion. He told the West coast office to ‘let it die.’” 

As a result, the Kingsmen will always be known for “Louie, Louie,” ultimately released by Wand Records of New York. The record peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 9, 1963, and, incredibly, stayed in that position for six weeks. The record remained on the chart for a total of 16 weeks. The band's "Money" single reached No. 16, the second of nine nationally charted singles by the Kingsmen. 

But the Raiders didn't lose out with the failure of their "Louie, Louie." Columbia kept them around for decades. From 1965 to 1973, the band went on to record 24 singles that hit the Billboard chart, including "Kicks" and "Hungry." All were released on Columbia, which apparently knew a Good Thing. 




Equipment: AMPEX 300 with EMT 120 and 140
echo plates.

Thanks to Richard O. Jones of the Hamilton JournalNews for capturing a little piece of recording history on May 29, 2003, when he interviewed Mark Lindsay. Additional information came from Joel Whitburn's Top Pop, 1955-1982, and Dave Marsh's Louie, Louie. Many details of the "Louie, Louie" saga are forgotten or disputed today, but the story is a fascinating part of regional recording history. This piece represents Lindsay's take on the whole garbled saga of writer Richard Berry's "Louie, Louie."


Down in Memphis

Elvis, Bill Black, Scotty Moore, and the 
legendary engineer Sam Phillips at the console.


“BLUE SUEDE SHOES,” Carl Perkins. Summer 1956.
(First major pop hit to go to No. 1 on the country and R&B charts.)

“I WALK THE LINE,” Johnny Cash. No. 17, 1956.

“WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN’ GOIN’ ON,” Jerry Lee Lewis. No. 3, 1957.

“GREAT BALLS OF FIRE,” Jerry Lee Lewis. No. 2, 1958.

“BALLAD OF A TEENAGE QUEEN,” Johnny Cash. No. 14, 1958.

“BREATHLESS,” Jerry Lee Lewis. No. 7, 1958

“GUESS THINGS HAPPEN THAT WAY,” Johnny Cash. No. 11, 1958.

“HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL,” Jerry Lee Lewis. No. 21, 1958

“THE WAYS OF A WOMAN IN LOVE,” Johnny Cash. No. 24, 1958

“WHAT’D I SAY,” Jerry Lee Lewis. No. 30, 1961.

Regal Enterprise

Equipment at King Studio, 1966.
Courtesy Lee Hazen.



STUDIO ICON: King Records

1540 Brewster Avenue, Cincinnati, 1947-1970
Official Name: King Custom Recording Service.
Address: 1540 Brewster Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Owner: King Records Inc. (Sydney Nathan, president.)
Nicknames: None.
Opened: Early fall 1947.
Closed: Late 1970.
Shape: Square (three walls of concrete blocks abutting one of brick).
Floor: Concrete.
Manager: Johnnie Miller.
Engineers: (Selected, 1960s) Lee Hazen, Chuck Seitz, Dave Harrison
Equipment: Three to eventually eight tracks.
Afterlife: A spare-parts storage room.
Selected Clients: James Brown, Cowboy Copas, Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Lonnie Mack.
Console: An early Harrison MCI console was installed later.

Quirks: The metal entrance door squeaked, and the sound could be picked up on sessions. Also, a florescent light glowed in the echo chamber, where it was not needed.

Selected Hits Cut in the King Studio 

"Daddy-O," Bonnie Lou, King Records, 1955

"Fever," Little Willlie John, King, 1955

"Please, Please, Please," James Brown and the Famous Flames, King, 1956

"Ivory Tower," Otis Williams and the Charms, DeLuxe Records, 1956

"The Twist," Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, King, 1959

"Memphis," Lonnie Mack, Fraternity Records, 1963

"Wham!" Lonnie Mack, Fraternity Records, 1963

"Lonesome 7-7203," Hawkshaw Hawkins, King, 1963

"Cold Sweat, Part 1," James Brown, King, 1965

"Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye," the Casinos, Fraternity, 1967

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Vintage Recording, Pt. 4

Welcome to RANDY McNUTT's
Still Too Hot to Handle
More Historic Recording Studios of the 20th Century

HHP Books
Author's Note: 
This is the fourth installment of the book Still to Hot to Handle,
published in 2005 by HHP Books.  

NEWCOMB RECORDING STUDIO, 4834 Bissell Avenue, Richmond, California. In the San Francisco and Bay Area, Newcomb Recording was founded in 1945, making it one of the city’s oldest studios by the early 1970s. W.S. Newcomb served as the small studio’s manager, owner, and chief engineer.

NEW YORK RECORDING LABORATORIES, New York, N.Y. It provided  recording facilities for Paramount—the early blues label—and other firms in the 1920s.

GENE NORMAN STUDIOS, Los Angeles. In 1956, record producer Gene Norman operated his own studio in the basement of  Pantages Theater. The Signatures, a jazz-oriented young vocal group, recorded there for Whippett Records. The group included Bob Alcivar, who would become a successful arranger for The Fifth Dimension and other groups in the 1960s and ‘70s. Norman would go on to start the GNP Crescendo label.
NORTH ALABAMA RECORDING, 102 E. Second Street, Sheffield. After hitting with “When A Man Loves A Woman,” producer Quinton R. Ivy opened a little studio with partner Marlin Greene. Eventually, it became North Alabama Recording, which last a few years. Four tracks.

NORTH LAKE SOUND, 3 Lakeview Drive, North White Plains, New York. At this studio not far from New York City, singer-songwriter Chip “Angel of the Morning” Taylor cut another of his fine albums, for Capitol Records, in 1979. Saint Sebastian was engineered by Ed Sprigg and Ted Spencer.

P A C-3 RECORDING CO., 7106 Greenfield Road, Dearborn, Michigan. Another rocking studio out of the North, P A C-3 was founded in 1965. By 1970, it was owned by Richard G. Becker, the chief engineer. James Monoro managed the studio. It competed against Sound Studios, 2019 Russell Street, which was founded in 1962 and owned by Cory Drake. The chief engineer was Bryan Dombroski.
PENINSULA SOUND STUDIO, San Carlos, California. Another San Francisco Bay area studio in the early 1970s. Owned and managed by Bob and Larry Black.
PEPPER POT, 900 Seventh Street, Gretna Louisiana. A 16-track studio owned and operated by Buzzy “Beano” Langford, who served as chief engineer. In 1981, he used a TEAC Tascam recorder with a Studiocraft console. Fees: $25 per hour for eight tracks, $60 for 16.
                PEPPER SOUND STUDIOS, Memphis. Owned by producer Marty Lacker and the independent Pepper Records in the 1960s. The studio was used to record some of the acts on Pepper, including Sydna and her “Can’t Help Falling In Love” (Pepper 438), produced by Marty Lacker and Vinnie Trauth.

PHOENIX SOUND RECORDING STUDIO, 3703 N. Seventh Street, Phoenix. Owners Ray Sanders and Billy Williams opened this studio in 1968. Williams managed it. By 1970, it competed with the older Audio Recorders of Arizona, which opened in 1954 at 3820 N. Seventh Street. Owner and studio manager Floyd M. Ramsey hired David Oxman as chief engineer. Another competitor, Ambet Recording Co., operated at 2750 W. Osborn Road. Its owners were Frank Woods and Roger Jones.

                 QUANTUM AUDIO AND RECORDING STUDIOS, 1425 Marcelina Avenue, Torrance, California. Offering two to 48 tracks in the late 1980s, Quantum was a hit studio away from the main hustle in L.A. Also sold recording studio equipment. The studio was at 1425-1/2, the sales office at 1425.

QUEEN OF SOUND RECORDING STUDIOS, 1314 Pine Street, Nashville. In 1970, Queen of Sound operated as a division of East Coast Sound Corporation. It featured a new eight-track Ampex recorder with a Langevin board and Altec equipment. Recorded both stereo and mono. Studio used for demo and master sessions.

RECORDING OF NASHVILLE, 115-1/2 Third Avenue North, Nashville. A 24-hour studio to accommodate Music City’s demo needs in 1963. “Complete mobile recording service, custom-made records, demonstrations, artist placement.” Equipped with a Hammond organ and Knabe grand piano.
RKO SOUND STUDIOS, 1440 Broadway, New York, New York. In the early 1960s, Brian Hyland recorded “I’m Afraid To Go Home” at RKO, which by then was already starting to fade as one of the city’s singles-oriented recording studios.
ROBINSON RECORDING LABS, Philadelphia. A studio based in the headquarters of WIP Radio. This is where The Silhouettes cut a now-famous B-side, “Get A Job,” in 1957. The song turned into a No. 1 record on the Billboard charts in 1958.
JIMMIE RODGERS RECORDING STUDIO, 1316-1318 Dauphin Island Parkway, Mobile, Alabama. Jimmie Rodgers opened his own studio in 1958 to bring recorded sound to the bay. In 1965, his competition came from Channel 1 Productions, 1061 Elmira Street, in Mobile. By the way, Rodgers, the studio’s chief engineer and general manager, was named Jimmie O. Rodgers.
ROYAL SHIELD, 1251 N. Acadian Throughway West, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In the early 1980s, owner Homer Sheeler operated this 24-track studio that was accessible by land, air, and water. Engineer Lee Peterzell used a MCI recorder and a Harrison automated console. Fees were then $105 per hour for master rates, and $65 for demo rates.
THE SANCTUARY, 1216 16th Avenue South, Nashville. By 1994, The Sanctuary offered a rare Music Row recording experience—quality at a reasonable price, only $55 per hour. The analog studio also offered a Studer 24-track recorder, a Neotek Elan console, Westlake BBSM-10 monitors, and a terrific drum sound. Clients included Liberty Records, Warner Brothers Records, EMI Music, and Sony Music. The owner was Barry Sanders. They used The Sanctuary for both high-quality demos and master sessions.
SCEPTER RECORDING STUDIOS, 254 W. 54th Street, New York. The independent Scepter label established a studio in 1964 to record demos and masters, mainly for its own artists. The studio operated into the 1970s, when Stanley Greenberg was the manager and John W. Lakata was the chief engineer.
BILL SCHNEE STUDIO, Universal City, California. One of America’s top West Coast engineers in the 1970s, Bill Schnee opened his own studio and found the demand for his services increasing. His studio hosted Don Henley in 1984 for parts of Building the Perfect Beast.
SELECT SOUND STUDIO, 1790 Broadway, New York. Opened in 1967, Select was a division of Jubilee Industries. Bob Stephens managed the studio in 1970, and the chief engineers were David Smith and Souren Mozian.
SIERRA SOUND, 1741 Alcatraz Avenue, Berkeley, California. One of central California’s more recognizable studios in the late 1960s. It recorded mostly rock ’n’ roll bands.
HAVILAND SMITH RECORDING STUDIO, 1020 Central Avenue, Charlotte, North Carolina. Haviland Smith’s studio was much less known than was Arthur Smith’s Charlotte studio, which recorded James Brown’s hit “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag.” Yet Haviland operated for some years in the 1960s. Charlotte became a regional music center, attracting performers from the southeast.
SMOKETREE RECORDING, Chatsworth, California. In 1981, renowned A&M recording engineer Norm Kinney cut Gino Vannelli’s Nightwalker at Smoketree, in suburban Los Angeles.
SOUNDCASTLE SOUND CENTER, Los Angeles. In 1984, the Commodores cut their hit “Janet” and its album, Nightshift, at this sophisticated California studio, under the direction of producer Dennis Lambert and engineer Paul Ericksen. The tracks were mixed to digital on a Mitsubishi X-80. 

SOUND CITY, 1705 W. Seventh Street, Fort Worth, Texas. An independent studio that served the city and region in the mid- to late-1960s. The general manager was John Allee.

SOUND CONTROL, 2813 Azalea Place, Nashville. In 1984, chief engineers Mark and Randy Moseley offered a Sound Workshop 1280 console, an Ampex 440 eight-track machine, an Ampex two-tracker, and DBX outboard equipment. The owners promoted the place as a demo studio.
SOUND GENESIS, 759 Harrison Avenue, San Francisco. Founded in 1968 in a wave of new-studio openings, Sound Genesis catered to rock bands and continued to operate into the 1970s. The owner was Bruce Hatch; the manager, Julie Hatch. Dean Schultz was the chief engineer in the early 1970s.

SOUND LABS, INC. A Los Angeles area studio known for its fine mixing, Sound Labs welcomed producer Richard Perry in 1973 when he arrived to mix Solitaire by Andy Williams for Columbia. Perry also recorded a part of the album there. 
SOUNDS UNREEL, 1902 Nelson Street, Memphis. In the late 1980s, this studio recorded acts such as William Lee Golden. Owners: Jon Flornyak and Don Smith.
SPAR RECORDING STUDIOS, Baker Building, Nashville. “From eight track to monaural; eight track stereo tape—high speed publication.” Operated in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Spar Records, the parent firm, operated at 702 Harrison Street.
SPECTRA-SOUND INC., 6110 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles. Advertisement: “Large, well-equipped studios; professional tape and disc recording; 35mm and 16mm motion picture dubbing, looping and projection; mastering and location recording. Film transfer and Nagra rentals.” Mid- to late-1960s.
STEREO HI-FI CENTER, RECORDING STUDIO, 13990 Crenshaw Street, Gardena, California. Studio of the mid-1960s that served southern L.A. “Available to professional and amateur artists and groups. Ampex – Telefunken equipment. Monaural and stereo. Grad. Electronic engineer at controls.”
STEREO MASTERS CO., 5518 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles. A four-track studio of the mid-1960s.
STOP RECORDS STUDIO, 809 18th Avenue South, Nashville. Stop Records was one of country music’s more successful hit-generating indies in the late 1960s and 1970s. Stop also operated a studio, which did not cut everything released on the label.
STUDIO AND ARTISTS RECORDERS, 6087 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles. Mid-1960s.
STUDIO 7 RECORDING CO., P.O. Box 57, Smith Alabama. This small-city studio opened in 1965, just in time to catch the early rock ’n’ roll train. It was a place of royalty. The owner and studio manager, Frank B. Gowan, hired a chief engineer named Sir Francis Phair.
STUDIO 10, 10 Claude Lane, San Francisco. Founded in 1969. Owned and operated by Tom Preuss. Chief Engineer: Phil Edwards.
SWANEE RECORDING, 315 Mount Juliet Road, Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Owned by Nashville studio owner and label chief Gene Kennedy in 1985, Swanee offered a Sound Workshop console, a MCI 24-track recorder, an EMT plate reverb unit, and a Studer recorder with half-inch and quarter-inch tape for mixing.  
SYNCON SOUND STUDIOS, 10 George Street, Wallingford, Connecticut. Founded in 1966, Syncon Sound was one of southern New England’s larger recording studios. It was owned and operated by producer Doc Cavalier, who expanded the studio in July 1969 into a division of Perception Industries. The firm included a label, Poison Ring Records, for which the group Pulse recorded. By 1970, the studio was doing a lot of work with area rock bands. Andrew B. Carlton was the general manager. The chief engineer was Bill Lobb.    
TERON RECORDING STUDIO, 1156 N. Highland Avenue, Hollywood. In 1964, this studio advertised its Ampex one, two, and three-track recording machines, complete tape and disc service and “major record company contacts.”
TOWN SOUND RECORDING STUDIO, 1 North Dean Street, Englewood, New Jersey. Only three miles from the George Washington Bridge, Town Sound attracted clients from New York City in the mid-1960s and later. The 2,400-square-foot studio offered twenty-five inputs for mics on the board as well as a new eight-track Scully recorder in 1966. Also available were Ampex machines in four, three, two, and one tracks, and a Steinway piano, Hammond organ, drums, guitars, and other instruments and equipment. You could record there on the latest in “high-tech” recording for $55 per hour. If you budget was tight, you could always go two-track for $40 per hour.
TRI-SOUNDS, 11825 Hamilton Street, Highland Park, Michigan. Detroit-area studio. Vice president was Major Reynolds in 1966.
UNITED AUDIO CORP., 1519 S. Grand Avenue, Santa Ana, California. Founded in 1967. Owned by Henry Quinn and Jack Marshall. Manager and Chief Engineer was Henry Quinn.

UNITED RECORDING SERVICE, 2724 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh. One of Pittsburgh’s top studios. Operated in the late 1960s.
                  UNIVERSAL RECORDERS OF CALIFORNIA, 6757 West Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood. In the late 1950s, it attracted major session acts and session musicians, including famed drummer Earl Palmer. Universal also recorded a number of acts for Specialty Records, including Lloyd Price.
VALENTINE RECORDING STUDIOS, 5330 Laurel Canyon Road, Los Angeles. In 1966, it’s advertising slogan was: “The name renowned for skill in mixing, editing, all phases of master and demo tape and disc recording. Competitive rates.”

VARSITY RECORDING COMPANY, 1705 Church Street, Nashville. “Modern  studio; finest equipment,” 1970. Full-track recording, four-track stereo and monaural and eight tracks.
VAULT RECORDING CO., 2525 W. Ninth, Los Angeles. 24-hour recording service, mid-1960s.
THE VILLA, North Hollywood. Don Henley, former Eagles drummer, cut his fine album Building the Perfect Beast at The Villa in 1984.
LAWRENCE WELK’S CHAMPAGNE MUSIC, 54 Music Square E., Nashville. One of the Welk estate’s musical enterprises, the studo featured Randy Best as chief engineer and manager Doug Howard.  In 1987, equipment included a Neotake ELite console and a 24-track Orari MTR 90 and atwo-track MTR-12 house.

WEST COAST SOUND, 3722 Effingham Place, Los Angeles. Another L.A. studio of the mid-1960s.
WESTWIND RECORDING, Los Angeles. Former Stax Records engineer Ron Capone recorded parts of Gino Vannelli’s Black Cars album at Westwind in 1984.
WINDCHIME STUDIO, 722 17th Avenue South, Nashville. Studio shared space with Windchime Productions and Windchime Records. A self-described “complete independent recording service,” operated in the early 1970s by music veterans Johnny Slate and Larry Henley.
YAMAHA RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIO, Glendale, California. In 1983, El DeBarge produced his band here for parts of its Rhythm of the Night. Here they also cut parts of their All This Love.


ZIA RECORDING STUDIO, 814 19th Avenue South, Nashville. Custom studio in 1970, offering mono two tracks and four tracks, demo dubs, and duplicating.




Barr, Steven C. “Ring Out, Wild Bells! A Study of Bell Records.” The New Amberola          Graphic, Autumn 1983.
Billboard 1966-1967 International Music-Record Directory.

Billboard 1970-1971 International Music-Record Directory.

Bryan, Martin. “The Edison Recovery Act of 1929 (And Related Trivia).” The New Amberola 
Graphic, Autumn 1981
Jones, Richard. Interview with Mark Lindsay. Hamilton JournalNews. May 29, 2003. 

McNutt, Randy. Guitar Towns: A Journey to the Crossroads of Rock ’n’ Roll. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

----------. Too Hot to Handle: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Recording Studios   of the 20th Century. Hamilton, Ohio: HHP Books, 2001.

---------- We Wanna Boogie: An Illustrated History of the American Rockabilly Movement. Hamilton, Ohio: HHP Books, 1989.

“HMW Recording Moves.” Record World, July 1974.

“Recording World: On the Record.” International Musician and Recording World, July 1979.

“This Is Where It All Began!” Sh-Boom, March 1990.

Willey, Day Allen. “Making a Talking Machine.” The Technical World, November 1904.

Copyright 2005 by HHP Books