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Elvis Remembered At RCA Studio B

Posted: 5:57 PM, Aug 16, 2017
Updated: 2017-08-17 03:17:32Z
Elvis Remembered At RCA Studio B

The world lost the "King of Rock and Roll" on August 16, 1977, and 40 years later, his impact was still evident on Music Row. 

Elvis Presley recorded at RCA Studio B from 1958 until 1971, producing a number of hits, and recording everything from gospel songs to songs for his movies, and even Christmas music. 

"To those who work here and those who visit her, it's hallowed ground," Brenda Allen, supervisor at RCA Studio B, said. 

A total of 35,000 recordings were produced in RCA Studio B since opened in 1957, making this the studio's 60th anniversary, and many of those tracks jumped to the top of the charts. 

"That's something no other studio in the world can tell you, that they produced 1,000 hits," Allen said. 

Allen grew up listening to Elvis and has always been a fan. 

"I just always loved his story, how he cam from abject poverty to making a mark in music history," Allen explained, adding that she was in shock when she heard Elvis passed away at the age of 42. "It hit pretty hard, nobody was expecting Elvis to pass away." 

But Allen finds solace in being able to tell Elvis' story to all of the people who visit RCA Studio B, giving them an inside look not just at the studio itself, but allowing them to hear the stories behind some of the songs. 

"He would greet each person in the studio individually," Allen explained of Elvis' recording sessions. "He wanted, I think, everyone to feel a part of what was about to happen." 

Allen added that Elvis also made sure his recording sessions had a certain feel, even perfecting the lighting in the room. 

"He liked the mood to be right," Allen said, explaining that he got rid of the florescent lights that reminded him of a hospital in exchange for colored lights, which he would change based on the mood he felt the song had. 

Tours get to see the piano Elvis warmed up on, the hole he kicked in a cabinet in the studio, and even the sweet spot in the studio where Elvis and other singers would stand to get the best audio track possible. 

The saying goes "If these walls could talk," but in Studio B, the walls would probably sing. 

Beyond Studio B, all of Music Row changed as a result of Elvis coming to town. Music executives from New York, Los Angeles, and other cities saw what Elvis and others were doing in Nashville, and with that, the "Music" was put in "Music Row." 

"When Elvis came here, it just focused the attention of the world on Nashville in a way that had never really been here before, and it began to build the structure that became what we know as Music Row," Dave Pomeroy, president of the Nashville Musicians Association, said. "Things come and go, companies come and go, buildings come and go, but the music remains, and the music of Elvis changed the world." 

Elvis would have been 82 Wednesday if he were still alive.