Lipscomb University To Take Ownership Of Sound Emporium

Lipscomb University will help preserve Nashville recording studio The Sound Emporium, as its new owner. Former Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets owner George Shinn, who has owned the Sound Emporium since 2011, has offered Lipscomb University ownership of the studio, as part of Shinn’s recently announced $15 million gift to the university. In recognition of this gift, the college was named the George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts. Lipscomb and Shinn expect that the gift of the Sound Emporium to Lipscomb will take effect before June 30, 2017.

Under Lipscomb’s ownership, Juanita Copeland will continue to serve in her role as president and general manager, overseeing the studio’s operation and managing its staff as she has done since 2005. Producer Charlie Peacock will oversee the day-to-day interactions between the studio and the university. His primary role will be to preserve the professional production capacity of the studio while looking for subtle ways for it to serve as a real-world learning lab for contemporary music students in the university’s George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts.

“For the first time ever, we will have a partner in Lipscomb University who will help us preserve the history of this iconic place that we have worked so hard to create,” said Copeland. “In the 22 years that I have been a part of the Sound Emporium team, I have seen a lot of ebb and flow in this industry. I am excited that this partnership will give us stability and a partner who shares our vision. We are honored and proud to be part of the Lipscomb family.”

The Sound Emporium, located at 3100 Belmont Blvd. in Nashville, has been a vital part of Nashville’s international claim to fame as Music City, U.S.A., for nearly 50 years. In 1969, “Cowboy Jack” Clement, who produced artists such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich and Johnny Cash at Memphis’ famed Sun Records, built Jack Clement Recording Studios in Nashville, the first of its kind in the city. In 1979, Clement sold the studio and the name changed to the Sound Emporium. Producer Garth Fundis purchased the studio in 1992, and in 2011 sold it to George Shinn.

Artists who have created music within Sound Emporium’s walls include Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, John Denver, Keith Whitley, New Grass Revival, REM, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Taylor Swift, Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney, Cyndi Lauper, Keith Urban, Merle Haggard, Cole Swindell, Jimmy Buffett, St. Paul and the Broken Bones and numerous others. In addition, film soundtracks such as O’ Brother Where Art Thou, Cold Mountain and Walk the Line have been recorded at the Sound Emporium under the guidance of Grammy-winning producer T-Bone Burnett.

“This is a significant moment in the history of Lipscomb University,” said John Lowry, Lipscomb University vice president for development and external affairs. “We are grateful to George Shinn and his commitment not only to this institution, but to our students and the music industry as a whole. We look forward to continuing the vision of the Sound Emporium to serve this community and the music industry for decades to come and to the many ways our students will thrive as they have a unique opportunity to learn from some of the industry’s leaders at Sound Emporium.”


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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 [email protected]

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