Keith Urban Urges Music Row Preservation
With the sale of the RCA Studio A building in Nashville last week, the entire music community is buzzing about the future of Music Row. But one artist, Keith Urban, wrote out a passionate plea for developers to maintain the integrity of the historical streets.
“I made my first trip to Nashville from Australia in the summer of 1989. I checked into the Shoney’s Inn on Demonbreun, then headed straight into the legendary Music Row,” Urban recalls to Nashville’s Tennessean.
“I knew instantly that this was where I belonged, and I became a Nashville resident in 1992,” Urban notes. “From that moment on, I would drive to the Row almost daily in my rented crap car to write, record demos and generally hang around, meeting all kinds of people. Music Row became my center, because Music Row IS a center.”
The ‘Somewhere in My Car’ singer goes on to recount the landmarks that dot Music Row, before imploring the buyers of Studio A, as well as the owners of other landmarks, to preserve the history of Music City.
“The past, present and the future are ALL still here — but the Row is currently under threat from developers,” he maintains. “Nashville has exploded as a music town, and not just country music. Musicians from all genres, all over the world are making the pilgrimage here to immerse themselves in the kind of creative center that so many other cities have lost but that Nashville still maintains.”
He concludes, “Nashville’s growth is exciting, but not at the risk of losing the creative epicenter that is Music Row and that truly makes Nashville Music City. I sincerely hope that those who have made Nashville their home over the years, and those who have recently discovered our fair city, will come together as a united front and continue to be vocal about preserving and fortifying our beloved Music Row.”
Read Urban’s entire letter here.
The future of the building that houses Studio A — where Ben Folds, Jamey Johnson and others currently rent space — is still in question. While Bravo Development, who purchased the building, originally said they would preserve the studio space, the owner, Tim Reynolds, raises questions about whether the landmark can be salvaged.
“The elevator’s bad. The roof’s bad. The wiring is bad. The plumbing is bad. It has asbestos and the duct work has mold,” Reynolds says. “These folks who are passionate about the building must stop and take a deep breath.”
Urban isn’t the only artist who has put his concerns into words. Folds wrote a letter imploring the studio be maintained, while the Music Industry Coalition wrote out a passionate plea on their Facebook page.