Save the South’s first-ever music recording studio!

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Plans for a Margaritaville restaurant in Downtown Atlanta which first surfaced in 2016 have expanded exponentially and now involve a 21-story Margaritaville Vacation Club hotel.

Demolition for the Margaritaville hotel will completely remove a rather unassuming brick building at 152 Nassau Street which held the first music recording sessions in the South.

In June 1923, Ralph Peer and engineers from Okeh Records came down from New York to Atlanta to record southern musicians – black and white. This was the first time vernacular musicians had ever been recorded on “location” – before New Orleans (1924), Memphis (1927), Bristol (1927), or Nashville (1928).

Fiddlin’ John Carson recorded “The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane” which became the yet-to-be-named country music genre’s first hit record. Okeh’s recording sessions also included African-American blues musicians Lucille Bogan, Fannie Mae Goosby, and Eddie Heywood along with local jazz bands and the Morehouse College Quartet. Songs from the recording sessions were released in the US, UK, and Germany.

Located next to major concert venues like The Tabernacle, Centennial Olympic Park, and State Farm Arena, preserving this building and telling its story provides a unique opportunity to connect Atlanta’s music history with the city’s on-going role in the industry today.

A similar project to celebrate a historic makeshift recording studio is currently underway in Dallas, Texas at 508 Park.

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