Saturday, September 26, 2009

Music History 101 with Cherokee Studios

The BeeGees recording at Cherokee Studios (from the Sgt. Pepper Scrapbook blog)

To really understand what the Rock-n-Platinum showcase at the Lofts @ Cherokee Studios is paying homage to, it's important to know what Cherokee Studios was all about. Before they closed their doors in 2007, Cherokee Studios was truly one of the most well-known and sought-after recording studios in the city. Luckily, for the non music history trivia buffs among us, Cherokee Studios is about to launch a comprehensive Scrap Book, that outlines all the amusing, interesting, and cool music moments that took place at 751 N. Cherokee back in the day. The scrap book will focus primarily on the hey day of the studio while it was managed by the Robb Brothers, from the 70s through till present. Check back later this month when the Scrap Book launches officially.

For now, here are a few quick and interesting factoids:

Close Encounters with the Fifth Beatle
Peter Frampton, The Bee Gees and the many other stars of the movie worked long hours with George Martin (aka the Fifth Beatle) in Los Angeles at Cherokee Studios and in New York at
The Record Plant. Out of these sessions of long hours spent recording and mixing came the finished soundtrack for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was released in July
More Beatle-tidbits
During the summer of 1979, several other Beatles spent s
ome time at Cherokee Studios. John and Yoko visited Ringo while he was recording "A Dose of Rock n Roll" and "Cookin'." Paul and Linda McCartney stopped by to record "Pure Gold" for Ringo's album. George also wrote a tune called "I'll Still Love You" for Starr's album.

Michael Jackson, from the J5 to Thriller
Cherokee Studios kind of was a part of the Michael Jackson story at different times. The Jackson 5's former manager Shelley Berger actually met the guys for the first time at Cherokee Studios, as quoted by a recent Rolling Stone article.

"I'll never forget when Berry called me up and said we just signed this new act, the Jackson 5, five brothers," recalls their former manager, Shelley Berger. "He said, 'I want you to manage them, so come down to the studio and meet them.' It was 10 or 11 o'clock at night. I went to Cherokee recording studio, on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, and I was introduced to these five young men. It was the first time I saw Michael Jackson and I thought, 'Oh my lord.' My favorite entertainer at the time was Sammy Davis Jr., and I thought, 'This is the new Sammy Davis.' " (from David Browne's tribute story on 6/25/09)

Later on, Michael Jackson recorded parts of The Thriller and Off the Wall albums at Cherokee Studios.

From "The Man Who Fell to Earth"

The Many Faces of Bowie
According to one of the Brother Robb, Cherokee Studios connection with Bowie is one of the most interesting. The Thin White Duke himself just showed up one day, strolled into Studio One, struck a chord on the piano, and said "Cherokee, this will do nicely." Bowie went on to record several sessions for the Man Who Fell to Earth soundtrack.

David Bowie at Cherokee Studios (from CrackedActor)


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