1964 – The story of Sound Emporium begins here when Jack Clement moves to Nashville. “Cowboy Jack” already had huge success at Sun Records in Memphis producing artists like Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Charlie Rich. In Nashville, Jack continued his production and publishing work under his company Jack Music.
1969 – Desiring a place to call his own, Jack builds Jack Clement Recording Studios (JCRS). The studio, later named Sound Emporium, would be the first of its kind in Nashville. The log books of Jack Clement Recording Studios show the very first week of sessions, including the November 6, 1969 booking by Canadian country artists Ian & Sylvia and Todd Rundgren.
1970 – Upon the completion of Studio A, Clement begins work to convert the house next door to a second studio. This would become Studio B.
1972 – Billboard Magazine publishes a tribute to Jack Clement and his contribution to the music industry. View the entire article here in PDF form. Of particular interest are pictures of the original designs of studios A and B.
Mid ’70s – With the studios going strong, Jack sets up another studio – Jack’s Tracks, gets inducted into the Nashville Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, and produces a horror movie – “Dear Dead Delilah”.
1979 – Jack Clement Recording Studios is sold and the name is changed to Sound Emporium.
1980s – Sound Emporium experiences incredible success. Within the walls of Studio B, owner Larry Butler produces acts like Kenny Rogers, Dottie West, Johnny Cash, Don McClean, John Denver, and B.J. Thomas. Garth Fundis becomes known for his work with Don Williams, Keith Whitley, and New Grass Revival. The studio is also graced with artists like REM and Alan Jackson among others.
1992 – Garth purchases Sound Emporium and renovations are made. The “A” and “B” buildings are joined together. A lobby and offices are added to the front of the building and Studio B is completely redesigned and rewired. During the 8 months of construction, Studio A remained “online” and was virtually untouched in the renovation.
1990’s-2010 – The success continues at Sound Emporium with artists like Trisha Yearwood, Yo-Yo Ma, Delbert McClinton, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, and Sugarland. Film soundtracks such as O’Brother Where Art Thou, Cold Mountain, and Walk the Line are recorded in Studio A under the guidance of Grammy winning producer T-Bone Burnett. In the last few years Don Williams, Taylor Swift, Patty Griffin, Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney, Jamey Johnson, and Don Henley have all recorded projects at Sound Emporium.
2011 – In 2011 Garth sells the studio to George Shinn, who is the former owner of the NBA franchise the New Orleans Hornets. Shinn moved to Nashville and thought it would be a great way to embrace his new community and give his family full of musicians a place to record. Under the new ownership the studio was remodeled and given a fresh new look – but it is business as usual. We are still making hit records in one of Nashville’s most iconic recording studios.
2012 – Addition of new drum booth to A room – Sean Shannon, studio tech, designed and built the new drum booth dubbed the “Sean Shannon Boom Boom room.” He also designed and built a new smaller iso booth that we call the new “fiddle” booth that is mostly used for fiddle isolation, but can be used for other instruments. The ABC show “Nashville” makes Sound Emporium home base for the recording of the music for this highly acclaimed show.
2013 – Expanded our available booking space by adding the very vibey “Studio Z” overdub/mix room. Sean also did the wiring, acoustic design and construction. Juanita added her touches with the décor that is paying homage to Cowboy Jack, who passed away this year. The studio requested and was granted a historic marker for Jack Clement Recording Studios from the Historical Commission of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County.
2014 – Installed a new API Legacy Plus console in the B room along with a complete redo of the wiring and electrical systems. We also built a much requested vocal booth in the control room. We also continued the upgrade of the live room with new acoustic treatments. The Cowboy Jack “hall” of fame was added to the hallway outside of Juanita’s office. The critically acclaimed band, the Alabama Shakes, recorded their 4 time Grammy nominated project “Sound & Color” in the A room this year. The #1 Dave Cobb produced project from Jason Isbell, “Something More Than Free” was also recorded in the A room in 2014.
2015 – The studio was incredibly busy again this year with projects from many up & coming and legendary artists including Cyndi Lauper, Chris Isaak, Keith Urban, Sturgill Simpson, Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson, Sam Bush, Cole Swindell, Nefesh Mountain, Jimmy Buffett, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Drive By Truckers, St. Paul and The Broken Bones, Lindi Ortega, Colony House, Lake Street Dive, and many others!! It was another historic year at the Sound Emporium!!!
2016 – The year started off with the great news that George & Chad Shinn made longtime studio manager, Juanita Copeland, a partner in the ownership of the Sound Emporium! A month later, Sound Emporium projects took home SIX Grammy Awards! The Alabama Shakes’ Sound & Color received four, and Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free received two. A great start to 2016!