RCA Studio B
combo with museum
- Original Elvis piano
- Classic and legendary music recording stadion
- Tour too long
- Too much music
Elvis Presley solelyrecorded more than 200 songs at this location – and the list of artists who also worked there is long. Jim Reeves, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings or Roy Orbison – they all came to RCA Studio B during their career. The list is much longer, indeed, so that music fans just have to take a tour to Historic RCA Studio B (nowadays listed in the National Register of Historic Places). During summer 2022, I also entered the bus and had a look into Nashville’s legendary music place..
RCA Studio B – Location & Admission
The Historic RCA Studio B is located at Roy Acuff Pl in the heart of the Music Row district. However, you cannot simply go there, pay an admission and have a look into the studio. The only way to visit is having a guided tour organized by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The bus tours start there and also bring you back to the iconic shrine of the country music stars.
The tours are organized in slots – there may be a couple of tours per day. Typically, the groups do not overlap in the studios, so that there is always just one busload and the guide in the studio in parallel. The ticket is typically sold together with an entrance to the museum, which I feel is not always necessary. The combined price is about 49.90 USD, which is about a 23 USD upgrade to the museum only-ticket.
The trip was given with 60 minutes including transfer at the time of booking. However, in fact the tour took about 25 (!)minutes longer, which lead to some issues with people, who had booked another experience in the main museum thereafter. Bus travel time between the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and Historic Studio B is less than ten minutes each way. You spend a lot of time in the first room, which tells you about the history of the museum and the music played. Unfortunately, the transfer buses are that packed that you can only rely on the words of the guide and simply don’t have a chance to read all documentation given in this room. In addition, our guide introduced us to a lot of recordings of songs written in these studio.
In later rooms, you can have a look at the still rather old-fashioned recording equipment. You may also take a picture of you at the Elvis Steinway piano. Again, there is a lot of music on that tour.
There are no services at the Historic Studio B worth mentioning.
The guide really spoiled our tour. There was too much music, too many personal stories, too much putting yourself into the center position of the tour. This becomes especially critical, as the tour took by far too long. A 40 to 50 minute trip, including the transfer, would be sufficient. Bad luck, as smelling the soul of Elvis on his original musical home is outstanding. I would love to try the tour with another guide one day.