Serious fire averted in Music Row building where “TN Moon” was recorded


Serious fire damage averted at building on Music Row

By KATHY CARLSON
Staff Writer

If Charles English hadn’t been there working last night, a Music Row building containing a studio used by the likes of Elvis Presley and Neil Diamond might have been seriously damaged in a two-alarm fire.

English, who owns a music publishing company, alerted emergency workers to the fire that hit the three-story brick and stone office building at 30 Music Square W. about 7:15 p.m.

”You wouldn’t normally … think (the building) would be occupied at this time,” said Assistant Nashville Fire Chief Kim Lawson. ”That fire would have progressed rapidly” if English hadn’t discovered it.

English, in his second-story office, first smelled smoke. Then, carrying a fire extinguisher, he went down one floor to investigate.

It was so smoky, he said, that he called 911 and left the building through a back stairway.

”There are people in the studios that work around the clock, seven days a week,” he said afterward.

The fire wasn’t large, started in a first-floor office area and caused smoke damage throughout the building, Lawson said. The cause of the fire was unknown, she said, and no one was hurt. The building didn’t have sprinklers.

An hour after the fire alarm was called in, firefighters were still trying to clear out smoke.

People with offices in the building arrived at the studio to check on their workplaces. One was music publishing company owner Wood Newton. His company’s equipment was OK, but he was concerned that other building tenants’ offices might have been damaged. He saw one first-floor studio blackened from fire damage and also sustaining water damage.

The low-slung, blocky structure holds lots of Nashville history.

”The building itself was opened in 1964 as headquarters for RCA Records in Nashville,” said Michael Janas, who manages RCA Studio B for the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum and Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business.

When the building was completed, Janas said, it contained mastering facilities, small recording studios and one studio the size of a large high school gym and designed to hold a symphony orchestra. It was dubbed Studio A and the older studio next door became known as Studio B, he said.

Elvis Presley recorded in Studio A, Janas said. More recently, Neil Diamond recorded part of his Tennessee Moon album there.

”I know a lot of people work there late at night,” Janas said. ”I’m just glad no one was hurt.”If Charles English hadn’t been there working last night, a Music Row building containing a famed Nashville recording studio might have been seriously damaged in a two-alarm fire.

English, who owns a music publishing company, alerted emergency workers to the fire that hit the three-story brick and stone office building at 30 Music Square West about 7:15 p.m.

”You wouldn’t normally … think (the building) would be occupied at this time,” said Assistant Nashille Fire Chief Kim Lawson. ”That fire would have progressed rapidly” if English hadn’t discovered it.

English, in his second-story office, first smelled smoke. Then, carrying a fire extinguisher, he went down one floor to investigate.

It was so smoky, he said, that he called 911 and left the building through a back stairway.

”There are people in the studios that work around the clock, seven days a week,” he said afterward.

The fire wasn’t large, started in a first-floor office area and caused smoke damage throughout the building, Lawson said. The cause of the fire was unknown, she said. The building didn’t have sprinklers.

One hour after the fire alarm was called in, firefighters were still trying to clear out smoke.

People with offices in the building arrived at the studio to check on their workplaces.

One was music publishing company owner Wood Newton.

His company’s equipment was OK, but he was concerned that other building tenants’ offices might have been damaged. He saw one first-floor studio blackened from fire damage and also sustaining water damage.

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