Today saw a happy ending to a story that’s galvanized passionate responses from musicians the likes of Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl — the fight to save Nashville’s RCA Studio A. According to the Nashville Scene, Curb Records founder Mike Curb has teamed up with Tennessee philanthropists Chuck Elcan and Aubrey Preston to buy the studio in a deal that closed this afternoon. Preston, a musician and preservationist, first agreed to buy the building in the fall from a Tennessee condominium developer who, to the outrage of many in Music City, planned on demolishing the building housing the companion studio to RCA Studio B, where rock and country stars from Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton, to Keith Urban and Kacey Musgraves cut classics new and old, and which singer Ben Folds had rented and operated for the last 12 years .
Curb, a politician turned music industry mogul, previously purchased and restored Studio A’s companion Studio, RCA Studio B, as well as Columbia Studio A and Owen Bradley’s the Quonset Hut, regarded by many as the birthplace of Nashville’s Music Row. Bradley and Chet Atkins founded Studio A in 1965, and until recently their estates owned the old RCA building, where country singer Jamey Johnson now works out of Atkins’ old office and where Folds leased the studio. In June, upon learning of the building’s sale and planned demolition, along with his imminent eviction, Folds penned an open-letter plea for preservation, subsequently sparking a grassroots movement towards Music Row preservation.
In the case of Studio A, those efforts seemed futile until Preston put in a $5.6 million bid on the building days after its new owners applied for demolition permits.