Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Master Sound Studio One We are looking for old photos from the Hey Baby Days

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.



Buddy Buie


Seeking Old Photos from the Hey Baby Days

Greg,

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
O:843-842-8886
C:843-301-3423
F:843-842-8887
Sterling,

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;

Regards,


Greg Haynes

12 comments:

loriboo said...

hi i would like to start out saying that im Bob Richardson's grand daughter! he was the OWNER of mastersound studios! i didnt really appreciate the way you portrayed my grandfather in your little story! my grand father was a magnificent man. charming, intelligent, and all around amazing. that bass he wouldnt let you take, was one of the first eight basses that fender ever made. my dad ended up with that pearl white bass with crush red velvet case. i just googled mastersound for shits and giggles and was truely offended by the shot writing you had about my grand father, and felt i really needed to speak on it!

loriboo said...

Also i hope you can put some thought into what you say next time!

heybabydays said...

Loriboo:

I just noticed your comment regarding your grandfather's bass and I thank you for sounding off about what appears to be a misunderstanding from the person who posted that note. Bob Richardson's contribution to the music made in Atlanta is without question. Bob was truly one of the great pioneers and the music made at Master Sound is legendary. As a collector of all types of memorabalia , that bass would not have left my studio either; I feel like the author of that posting was unaware of its significance. Only hope that I will one day have a grandchild that would come to my defense in such a passionate manner.

Tracy Misner said...

I am currently working on a documentary of Studio One. I already have the story from Rodney Mills. i will be shooting the segment for JR Cobb later this week. Greg (Fern) Quesnel, one of the other studio engineer has also expressed interest in this story.

As for the story of the bass guitar...yes, that seems to be the impetus of Studio One. there were probably a thousand more reasons why Studio One was started, but the story of that bass guitar has made its way into my documenatry.

I would love to talk with Mr. Richardson's grand daughter to make sure that we do not tarnish the Mastersound/Richardson name as both are instrumental in the Georgia History of Music!

Duane Tudahl said...

I am looking for anyone that may have information about Master Sound Studios (or relatives of Bob Richardson who might know of a contact that would help me). I am working on a book about Prince's recording sessions and I know that he worked on several tracks with Sheila E. at Master Sounds in January of 1985.

My email address is Duane2Doll (at) aol.com if you have any information or know of anyone who would have photos, details or any information about the studio.

Thank you very much. I've enjoyed reading these stories.

Joel said...

I have entirely different perspective of Bob Richardson, Babs (his wife)and Master Sound studios. I met Bob in 1966-67 at the old Brookhaven location where everytime the train came by we had to stop the session in the old 3 track studio the Bob built. I am from NYC and was a college student at the time at Oglethorpe. I showed up at the studio one day to cut a demo of some stuff I had written and from then on I was like family to Bob and Babs. I have some great memories of time spent there until I left in 1971. The last time I saw Bob was shortly after his then state of the art studio opened down on Spring St. I am happy to share my memories.

jeffrockit said...

I worked for Bob and Babs Richardson for 8 years. Bob and Babs took in a kid with no experience in the studio business and put me to work duplicating cassette and reel to reel tapes. For a while, we did all the dub work for Delta Airlines. They were both truly great souls and thanks to their patience and willingness to let me learn, I have had a successful career for almost 30 years as a Producer/Engineer/Mixer.
I gained a life long friend in their youngest son who was the studio tech the years I was there.
When I think about Master Sound it is always with great fondness and love as that's where I got my start. RIP Bpb and Babs....I love you,
Jeff

Tom Drenon III said...

I worked for Bob and Babs the last two years that Mastersound was open. I ditto what Jeff said,Bob and Babs were great people with kind hearts. I remember cold calling Bob one day after I found out I would be loosing my job at a duplicating house in Stone Mountain and telling him I was looking for work as a 2nd engineer and he told me he didn't need one at the the time but he he did need someone to run cassette dubs. I told him that is what I'm doing right this minute and he said "really"? Well then come in tomorrow and talk to me. I was hired over some of my friends who actually have very successful studios in Atlanta, believe me I was just lucky that Bob liked me. I also remember writing songs in between cassette dubs runs(every three minutes). I would try to write a line down while loading the machines up.
Babs came in one day and ask me what I was doing,I told her and she wanted to hear what I wrote so I played them for her. She gave me some advice and told me I need to ask Bob for some studio time to demo them. Bob graciously gave me some time and with the help of Jeff Tomei and a few other musicians friends of mine, we cut them and had a blast doing it. I will never forget Bob and Babs as long as I live. I also loved all the staff there at the time too,they were all great people. I am now in Nashville currently playing drums for country artist Darryl Worley,engineering in my studio and producing records on indi projects. Thank you Mastersound,Bob and Babs and all the staff for helping me get some real world experience in this business. I have nothing but love for the Richardson family.

Thomas Watson said...

To both Loriboo and Joel, if either of you are familiar with the artist Abner Jay who used to record at Master Sound, I would love to hear about any recollections that you would have to possibly be included on a documentary being put together at this time.

Thanks

J Teague

Steven Levine said...

Hey Joel,
By any chance did you bring along a group of other Oglethorpe students to the studio to record, along with Klaus Smith who was managing them? If so, I was one of them. I was playing lead guitar with the that band, whose name I can no longer remember. I do remember recording some cover Blues-Rock and if I'm correct some of your original material. Anyway, if that is you then hello after 46 years. Steve

Joel Oppenheim said...

Hey Steven....It is the Joel you remember and referenced in your post.
Would enjoy catching up after all these years.
If interested let's figure out the best way to connect offline from this blog.

Best
Joel

Joel said...

Gary;

I wanted you to know that I was able to find your book in original condition, clear-wrapped and all and it is great. Supposedly the last one around in original condition. Just received it today and can't put it down.

Great piece of historical work of the period.

Joel