Master Sound to Studio One Atlanta, Georgia
Following printed courtesy of Robert Register blog
Subject: STUDIO ONE STORY
RR....This is the studio one story.
From 1966 till 1970 I spent every waking hour either writing songs or producing records. I had but one goal and that was to write and produce top forty hits. JR Cobb and I were hot as a firecracker during that period. We wrote, I TAKE IT BACK [Sandy Posey],
SPOOKY, STORMY, TRACES, and EVERY DAY WITH YOU GIRL. [Dennis Yost and the Classics IV] . Other than I TAKE IT BACK, produced by the legendary Chips Moman in Memphis, I produced all these records, plus CHERRY HILL PARK [Billy Joe Royal] , written by Robert Nix and Bill Gilmore. Robert Nix had been with me thru the Orbison and the Candymen years. He was a great drummer and became my constant
Companion and supporter. I was proud to see him develop into a successful song writer. He later became one of my my co-writers.
From 66 thru 69, I recorded exclusively at Master Sound Studio in the old Brookhaven school building, owned by my mentor Bill Lowery. One day I called Bob Richardson, the studio co-owner- manager and asked could I come in to cut a demo. He said "no, an ad agency has It booked" and I said "that's fine, I'll cut at another studio but I need to come by and pick up the bass". Master Sound had an old Fender bass that Emory Gordy played on all my sessions. Richardson said, “that bass doesn't leave this studio". I asked him if he was using it on the ad-agency session and he said "no, but the bass doesn't leave the studio'. I couldn't believe that after helping put his studio on the map, he'd refuse me the use of that old bass. I begged him to reconsider and he repeated, "that bass doesn't leave this studio". I never recorded another note in that studio.
Mylon Le Fevre's brother, Maurice, and I made a deal for me to record at Le Fevre Sound. It was here that I got to know Rodney Mills. Rodney's engineering skills and his willingness to experiment made me an instant fan. Every night, Robert Nix, JR Cobb, Barry Bailey, Dean Daughtry, and Paul Goddard would meet at Le Fevre Sound. They'd jam and we'd record what they jammed. We experimented with different sounds and recording techniques. My agent sent a recording of these jam sessions to MCA and they liked what they heard. Later, I called Rodney Justo in Tampa, and asked him if he would be interested in being the singer and he said yes. I talked it over with the guys and they loved the idea. ARS was born.
JR Cobb, Paul Cochran, Bill Lowery, and I pooled resources to build a studio, after it became obvious I wasn't returning to Master Sound. Rodney Mills left his head engineer position at Le Fevre Sound and became our head engineer. Rodney consulted with us on the studio site and I put him in charge of all things technical. 3864 Oakcliff Industrial court in Doraville became our new address. A house painter and part time carpenter by the name of Shack Jones ,who just happened to be a struggling song writer, signed on to do the construction. The guys in the band pitched in. You should have seen Robert Nix and Rodney Justo with hammer in hand. We crowned it STUDIO ONE. Rodney Mills and I decided on a custom built console by Spectrasonics. Hardy Martin designed and installed the board. Rodney went to Louisville a couple of times to make sure Hardy was building the board we needed. JR, Rodney, and I went to Memphis to check out Chips Moman's great sounding echo chambers. We applied what we learned and built three chambers, which later became an important element in Studio One's sound. The 16 track Scully recorder was state of the art at the time and we were all like kids at Christmas when Hardy Martin and Rodney finally installed all the equipment. The studio became like an artist colony, attracting local musicians and songwriters. The early followers of The Atlanta Rhythm Section found where we were and would drop by, in hopes of seeing them record. This happened before ARS had a record on the radio. Their reputations as the cream of the crop of session musicians in Atlanta attracted up and coming players and groupies. Sometimes it was a zoo!!
Over the next fifteen years, 1970 thru 1985, some historic music was made within the walls of STUDIO ONE. Atlanta Rhythm Section, Al Kooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd, B.J. Thomas, Billy Joe Royal, Stillwater, Johnny Van Zant, 38 Special, Alicia Bridges, Rossington-Collins, and countless others called it home. I sold the studio to Georgia State University in 1986.
Seeking Old Photos from the Hey Baby Days
HAVE REALLY ENJOYED YOUR BOOK. I AM 56, AND GREW UP NEAR RALEIGH, N.C. SUMMERS OF 68, AND 69 WERE FANTASTIC. GOT TO SEE LOTS OF THE GROUPS IN YOUR BOOK. REALLY BROUGHT BACK A LOT OF MEMORIES. WE WERE TAMS GROUPIES. EMBERS CLUBS IN RALEIGH, AND ATLANTIC BEACH, BEACH CLUB IN MYRTLE BEACH, MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM, DORTON ARENA, ETC. WISH THERE WERE MORE PICTURES TAKEN OF THE GROUPS PERFORMING IN THE CLUBS. PIECES OPF EIGHT BACKING UP THE GENERAL AND THE SHOWMEN. KALABASH A CUPLE OF YEARS LATER. GENE BARBOUR. IT WAS AMAZING SOME NIGHTS AT THE BEACH TO SEE THESE GUYS PLAYING FOR NO-ONE ON A SUNDAY OR MONDAY NIGHT, THEN A PACKED HOUSE ON THE WEEKENDS. I AM NOT VERY TECHNICAL, WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE DISK THAT SAYS BAND DIRECTORIES? WELL THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES.
Floors By Sterling Hight
890 William Hilton Parkway Suite 25
The Fresh Market Shoppes
You sound like a man after my own heart. If I had thought back in the 60s that I would one day write a book about my experiences as a band promoter, I would have had an instamatic or a Polaroid camera at least on hand at some of the shows. We have been fortunate we were about to get many "real time" ( Hey Baby Days photos) but only one good crowd scene from one of my actual promotions but it is a great one and should be somewhat reminiscent of The Tams shows in 1968 and 1969 when they contracted as the Tams' Revue. (Page 71 of the book.) It was one of those crowded shows where it would have been impossible to fall down much less dance. Hopefully the blog will inspire people to send us photos from the old days so we can share.
Very happy that you are enjoying the book. The Band Directories CD is not an audio CD buy rather a state by state listing of bands. Within each state folder are band PDFs listing the various members of a particular band. It basically the same listing as the ones we have on line under bands at www.heybabydays.com;