Nearly three decades after the last notes were played in the historical Quonset Hut recording studio, The Curb Foundation, Belmont University and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame arranged a special celebration Monday night to honor the legacy of the studio as well as the songwriters, musicians, singers, producers and artists that graced its hallowed walls.
The Quonset Hut, which is a large prefabricated metal building, was purchased in the mid-‘50s by legendary producer Owen Bradley and his “A-Team” guitarist brother Harold to add on to the house on 16th Avenue the two had turned into a music studio. Originally intended as a space for video production, the Quonset Hut quickly became a hot spot for music recordings, playing host to sessions by Buddy Holly, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Marty Robbins, Bob Dylan, Dusty Springfield and Brenda Lee, among hundreds of others.
In a 2005 interview with Tennessean reporter Peter Cooper, Merle Haggard said, “It was impossible for me not to be aware of the history of the place when I was recording there in the 1970s. When I walked in there, I always realized, ‘Hey, this is where they cut ‘I Fall to Pieces.’ If you’re at all interested in country music, you know about the Quonset Hut.”
After 25 years of churning out hit songs in the country, pop and rock genres, the Quonset Hut doors were shut in 1982, and eventually the building was used for office and storage space. Recognizing its significant historical status, Mike Curb acquired the building in 2005 and had the studio restored back into a recording facility. Belmont University now operates the Quonset Hut for teaching, sessions and events, so music is once again ringing inside its walls.
On Mon., June 27, many of the people who helped create history in this great studio gathered once again in the room where so many hits were made, trading songs and stories as part of the re-opening celebration. Harold Bradley, Whispering Bill Anderson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Ray Stevens, Charlie McCoy, Jim Glaser, David Frizzell, Beckie Foster, Norbert Putnam, Steve Gibson, Ray Edenton and Glenn Snoddy were among those who participated in the evening. Click here to see additional photos from the Quonset Hut celebration.