Producer Dave Cobb To Take Over Music Row’s Historic RCA Studio A

Dave Cobb

Dave Cobb

Ben Folds is set to leave Music Row’s historic RCA Studio A, after renting the space for 14 years. Folds cited a demanding touring schedule and increasing roster of projects around the globe as reasons for stepping away from Studio A, though he will record in the space as time allows.

Beginning April 1, Dave Cobb will take up working residence in the historic studio, which was built by Chet Atkins, Harold Bradley, and Owen Bradley. Cobb’s reputation as a producer has risen, thanks to the popularity of roots-oriented albums from Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, and Chris Stapleton.

“I know the studio will be in good hands with Dave Cobb,” Folds said. “Dave is familiar with the history and inner workings of Studio A and he represents a bright future for Music Row.”

In 2014, RCA Studio A became the epicenter of a battle between preservationists and real estate opportunists, when Folds penned an open letter stating that RCA Studio A was to be sold to a Brentwood firm that had plans to demolish the space and build condominiums. A “Save Studio A” movement began, spearheaded by Folds and songwriter-producer Trey Bruce. The movement garnered supporters including Justin Timberlake, Dave Grohl, Keith Urban, and others.

At the eleventh hour, a trio of entrepreneurs including Mike Curb, Aubrey Preston, and Chuck Elcan (operating as Studio A Preservation Partners) stepped in to preserve the studio. The federal government added RCA Studio A to the National Register of Historic Places.

“I’m proud to be entrusted with the keys to one of the best-sounding rooms in the world,” Cobb said. “My plan is simple: Honor the history of Studio A while making sure its unique sound carries forward onto new songs and albums with new artists.”

“Ben Folds played a key role in reopening one of the world’s most important recording studios,” said Preston. “Mike, Chuck and I wish Ben the very best in the future.”

Opened in 1965, Studio A’s client list has included Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, and George Strait as well as newer artists like Hunter Hayes, Jamey Johnson, and Kacey Musgraves. Pop and rock artists who have worked at the Studio A complex include Tony Bennett, The Beach Boys, and The Monkees, and newer artists like Sara Bareilles and Kesha.

 

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at jnicholson@musicrow.com.

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