Record Biz Meltdown Continues: Sony Studios to Close

June 14, 2007 1:40 PM ET

In yet another sign that the music industry might just close up shop and move to Florida, Sony Music Studios — one of New York's biggest recording hubs — will close its doors in August, citing difficult financial times. Elton John, Billy Joel, Jennifer Lopez, Missy Elliott, and Sheryl Crow have all recorded at the storied studios, which have also hosted TV shows, including Nirvana's "MTV Unplugged." The shutdown comes two years after the legendary Hit Factory closed up shop, leaving New York with few powerhouse recording studios.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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