Starday King Studio
3557 Dickerson Pike in Madison - Nashville Tennessee
Drone and Music by Brian Siskind aka THOSE DRONES
Nashville - please save this historic studio.
"This building was once home to the Starday and King record labels and one of the busiest studios in Nashville, rivaling RCA Studio A and Owen Bradley’s Quonset Hut on Music Row. Starday and King were powerhouse independent labels known for traditional country, bluegrass, rockabilly, gospel, and R&B music. In its heyday, stars like Dottie West, Minnie Pearl, Jim Reeves, Archie Campbell, Cowboy Copas, Reece Sisters, and Mike Higashi of Tokyo all recorded here.
From 1962-1965, Jimi Hendrix played guitar at Starday with artists such as Billy Cox, Johnny Jones, and Frank Howard and the Commanders. In 1968, Nashville’s local disc jockey Bill “Hoss” Allen recorded “He Went to the Mountain Top” here as a tribute to MLK, Jr., soon after he was murdered in Memphis.
The biggest superstar to record at Starday was James Brown, who recorded several songs here, including “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine” and “Super Bad” in 1970 and “Hot Pants” and “I’m a Greedy Man” in 1971. Folks still refer to this building as “James Brown’s Starday-King Studio” and according to legend, the studio was painted brown in his honor.
Vacant for 15 years, the historic landmark is overgrown, neglected, and showing signs of deterioration. What the future holds for this legendary recording studio is unknown. Metro Councilwoman Nancy VanReece hopes the property owner will “recognize its place in our history and work toward restoration or seek a qualified new owner that will respect the history created there and support the potential renaissance.” Two years ago, the city came together to save RCA Studio A from the wrecking ball. Will we do the same for James Brown’s Starday-King Studio?