Grad Spotlight and Nashville’s Studio A
June 27, 2014
There’s been a lot of talk lately about Nashville’s Studio A, owned and operated by RCA, being sold! Here’s a quick info update from Ben Folds:
Here’s an update on the status of the possible sale of historic RCA Studio A:
My office just received a phone call from a Brentwood TN-based development firm. Bravo Development is the firm that was planning to purchase the land and the building that houses the studio. Mr. Reynolds informed us that his firm will only buy the property if his engineering and architectural team can figure out a way to feasibly re-develop the property while protecting and preserving the studio for future generations to enjoy. He went on to say that if it’s not feasible for him and his team to do so, he would not move forward on the purchase.
All I can say is that this speaks volumes about the character of Mr. Reynolds and demonstrates an appreciation and respect for our city’s great music heritage.
Thank you Mr. Reynolds..
I look forward to learning more about the studio’s ultimate fate, and will pass along any further information I receive.”
One of our grads, Sorrel Brigman, had the opportunity to work with Ben Folds since she’s graduated from CRAS!
Graduating from the Conservatory in 2009, Sorrel Brigman has gone on to do great things! After leaving CRAS, she moved out to Nashville, TN, and did a ton of internship work, including working at the famous Blackbird Studios. She got to work along side all sorts of incredible talent, including Steve Marcantonio, who has credits working with artists from Jewel to Vince Gill, Taylor Swift to Carrie Underwood and so many more.
Recently, Sorrel made it in the cover story piece for Mix Magazine this month. She has been working at RCA Studio A, also known as Ben’s Studio. Ben of Ben Folds Five now owns the place and has put it to good use. The studio has quite a bit of history, originally being known as RCA Victor Nashville Sound Studios. Built by Chet Atkins, the facility had a ton of major names swing through over the years. Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, and even Dolly Parton, who recorded “Jolene” there.
In 2011, they upgraded the studio console to a classic API 3232. When Ben Folds first moved into the studio, he primarily used it on his own, but in the past 5 years they have been bringing in other clients – Kellie Pickler, Willie Nelson, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood and Alejandro Sans.
I caught up with Sorrel a little bit, and this is what she had to say:
“I’ve been at Ben’s Studio for three years this month. I started as an intern but have been an assistant here for almost 2.5 years. In addition to assistant engineering, I’ve lately also been doing some assistant managing for the studio as well. The room is amazing and the studio manager, Sharon Corbitt-House, brings in some amazing clients. I have had the privilege of working with Ben Folds Five (naturally), Alan Parsons, Kelly Pickler, Willie Nelson, Jerrod Neimann and Elizabeth Cook, just to name a few. It has been quite an amazing ride.
Some of my common intern tasks at both my internships (Ben’s and Blackbird) included session setup and tear down, being a runner (to go get supplies for the studio and meals for clients and staff) and lots of cleaning. It’s not to say that my supervisors were behind me forcing me to clean stuff, but taking care of the studio is a labor of love.
And there are plenty of uncommon tasks as an intern. At my first internship, the owner of the studio loved Dr. Pepper and the ice from Sonic (I mean, who doesn’t, really?) We had a Sonic ice maker at the studio, but the owner did not have one at his house. It was not entirely unusual to take two cups full of Sonic Ice and a cold 6-pack of DP to the owner’s house at night, leave them outside the gate. Only certain interns were trusted with this task because the owner was insistent that the buzzer not be buzzed (and thus disturb his family that was sleeping). I did that run a few times.
Another time as an assistant, I was covering for an assistant friend at a different studio. After the session as we (the intern and I) were tearing down, the client used the bathroom. He flushed the urinal and walked off. We walked by the lobby and heard a gushing sound. The urinal was stuck in flush mode and water was pouring out everywhere. We managed to get the water to stop, but clean up was a challenge. The intern was new and didn’t know where things were stored. I didn’t normally work there, so I didn’t know where things were stored either. The only mop we could find was rusted together (yes, rusted). We ended up cleaning up a small lake of pee water with paper towels and no gloves. It happens.
I have gotten a few album credits. That’s pretty exciting. You can check out my allmusic pages (one under Sorrel LaVigne, one under Sorrel Brigman).”
Congratulations on doing an amazing job! I remember having you as a student and I knew you were destined for great things!