The Historic RCA Studio B in Nashville is a staple of the country music community worldwide. Guests, even those that don’t have a passion for country music, should stop by the studio and museum to pay homage to one of the places that changed the history of music.
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The studio is currently the oldest recording studio still in operation in Nashville, Tennessee. Built in 1956 by Dan Maddox, it really hit its stride in the early to mid-1960s. It is credited as being the birthplace of what many called the “Nashville Sound,” a smoother and more sophisticated subgenre of country music. Numerous country music legends have recorded there. In fact, there is even a story about a time that Dolly Parton drove her car through the side of the studio and the damage is still partially visible to this day.
Permanent Attractions and Exhibits
Tickets to the museum along with the tour of the studio are available for purchase ahead of time via the website.
Besides the tour of the studio and museum, the attraction also has a variety of optional add-on activities and more in-depth tours. Below are some of the options:
- Star: Experience what it is like to be a star, even if just for the day (or the two hours the tour lasts). Starting on Music Row, tours start and Studio B and allow visitors the ability for the group to stand in front of the studio’s legendary microphone and even record with one of the professional sound engineers employed there. The tour will then progress into the museum and ends with optional line dancing and lunch at the Wildhorse Saloon. The song will even be playing over the sound system!
- Legends: Besides music, one of the other things that Nashville is known for is its cuisine. This tour experience starts with lunch, a Nashville classic called a “meat and three (sides),” while an accomplished songwriter sings and tells stories. A tour of the museum is also included.
- Cash: Who is more Nashville than Johnny Cash? This tour discusses the Nashville icon with none other than his own son, Johnny. Visitors can also ask him questions and finishes each hour-long experience with an autograph signing/meet and greet session.
- History: This -long tour tells the many stories that lie inside the studio, even allowing visitors to see some of the historic, original instruments used in the legendary recordings from famous artists like Elvis, Roy Orbison, and Dolly Parton.
- Get Inky: Starting at the Hatch Show Print’s legendary 135-year-old letterpress production shop, the tour teaches visitors about the history of the business as well as being able to see many of their iconic designs.
The museum offers a number of different exhibits as well, that show in the museum on a rotating basis. Check the website prior to a visit to see what is currently on display. The studio museum has previously offered exhibits on folk music, Bob Dylan, Shania Twain, and more.
The studio and museum offer a wide variety of field trips and school programs for children from kindergarten through 12th grade. Classes with at least 10 children can contact the staff to schedule a visit, which are offered on weekdays. It is recommended that visits be scheduled at least a month in advance by calling or emailing.
There are four program options available: a guided tour of the highlights of the museum that lasts an hour and a half, a words & music tour that lasts two and a half hours, a dazzling designs tour that lasts two hours and fifteen minutes, and a “making waves” tour that lasts an hour. The highlights and the words tours can accept from 10 to 80 students, while the designs and waves tours can accept from 40 to 50 students maximum. Discounted admission is offered, and students from Davidson County can even get in for free. At least one adult chaperone must be present for every ten students.
Dining and Shopping
There are a few dining options for hungry visitors to the museum, like Red Onion (quick, cafe style food) and Bajo Sexto (a taqueria that also offers wine and beer). The museum store is one of the more unique gift shops in Nashville as well, due to its unique brand of country music gifts and memorabilia. They carry a line of items specific to their temporary exhibits, as well as a permanent selection of apparel, books, gifts, and music merchandise for visitors to help remember their visit with.
Historic RCA Studio B, 1611 Roy Acuff Place, Nashville, TN, 37246, Phone: 615-416-2001