By Kurt Wolff
To some, a building—or even just a room—is capable of producing magic. To others, it’s just a room.
At least, that seems to be how the two sides of debate are lining up over the call to preserve the 50-year-old RCA Studio A in Nashville.
Last week, musician and producer Ben Folds made a passionate plea via an open letter that RCA Studio A, which is allegedly about to be sold, is worth preserving. Such legendary artists as Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings and and Willie Nelson all recorded in the space, which is larger than it’s better-known cousin RCA Studio B (the latter is now part of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum). Folds has been a tenant at the RCA Studio A space for the past decade.
According to Folds, the asking price for the building is $4.4 million. The potential buyer is Bravo Development, which develops commercial and residential buildings in nearby Brentwood.
The building’s owners, though, feel differently. And one of the owners, Harold Bradley, just wrote an open letter of his own.
“What makes a place historic?” writes Bradley. “The architecture of the Nashville sound was never brick and mortar. Certainly, there are old studio spaces that, in our imaginations, ring with sonic magic; but in truth, it’s not the room; it’s the music.”