The Mike Curb Family Foundation recently purchased a collection of microphones previously housed in Bradley’s Barn, the historic studio owned by Owen Bradley, his brother Harold and son Jerry. A few of the microphones date back to the late 1950s, when RCA first opened its Nashville recording studios.
From the late 1950s through the 1970s, the microphones were used on classic recordings by Eddy Arnold, The Everly Brothers, Willie Nelson, Charley Pride, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley at RCA’s Studios. After 1980, the microphones became part of the Bradley’s Barn collection. These microphones were used as late as 1994 for the recording of George Jones’ Bradley Barn Sessions album.
Now, more than fifty years since RCA’s Nashville studio first opened its doors, the microphones are being brought back to the RCA Studio B on Music Row. The collection includes Neumann, Telefunken and Altec condenser microphones, RCA and Altec ribbon microphones, and a full compliment of solid-state condenser and dynamic moving coil microphones. Currently, the collection is in the process of being evaluated, documented and photographed; which will determine how the microphones will be used in the future.
In addition to acquiring the mic collection, the Curb Foundation recently restored RCA Studio B in conjunction with the Country Music Foundation and Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business.
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