The handful of blocks that make up Music Row lie sandwiched between Wedgewood (across from Belmont University) on one end and on the other, the Buddy Killen Circle that connects 16th and 17th Avenues South, Division and Demonbreun Streets. You can easily recognize the roundabout because of the “Musica” sculpture at the center, depicting a group of naked dancers and standing nearly 40 feet (12 meters) tall.
This neighborhood in Nashville, Tennessee is devoted to the business of music, primarily on 16th and 17th Avenues. Just to keep things confusing, the name of 16th changes to Music Square East and 17th to Music Square West. So does the zip code over those short blocks, from 37212 to 37203.
Tourists passing through on trolley and bus tours see some typical office buildings, like those of ASCAP and BMI, two of the organizations that collect performance royalties. Warner Brothers does business in what looks like a fortress and Sony Music is currently headquartered in what used to be a convent. But renovated arts and crafts and other vintage architectural styles make up most of Music Row. The signs in front of these “homes” will tell you that these are the offices of music publishers, booking agencies, PR firms, film and editing companies, attorney offices and some recording studios.
Owen and Harold Bradley were the first to do business here when they opened a studio on the Row in 1954. Of course, the music industry has changed. Labels have consolidated or gone under. Many of today’s working studios have located in another area called Berry Hill. But one major landmark from 1957 remains: RCA’s Studio B. Legendary artists like Elvis, the Everly Brothers and Roy Orbison recorded hits here. In the 1990s, the historic site was restored to its original state including recording equipment and instruments dating back to the era when Chet Atkins was in charge.
Pricey Real Estate
Condo and homeowners in the neighborhood have access to restaurants, shops and other services on Demonbreun, Edgehill and Broadway. The Web site Trulia puts the average list price for a home in zip code 37203 at over $370 thousand and gives the area a five star rating. But most property on Music Row is commercial. 2010 listings on the Loopnet Web site include two buildings on 16th Avenue South: one at 4,928 square feet for $950,000 and another with 1800 square feet at $459,800.