Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon, which helped propel the Allman Brothers Band, Otis Redding and other groups to worldwide prominence, has been reopened.
The Georgia music studio fused blues, country and other sounds into Southern rock in the 1970s, and spawned a decade of creative activity. Capricorn’s historic Studio A reopened Dec. 3 after years of work by Mercer University and other supporters to restore and furnish it with modern recording technology.
To mark the occasion of the studio’s reopening, a special concert and dedication was held.
In the 1970s, Capricorn helped make Macon one of the nation’s music capitals. Mercer University hopes the renovated studio will help preserve Macon as a place that forged the music history of the United States among southern cities like Nashville and Memphis in Tennessee and Muscle Shoals in Alabama, as well as Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans.
Before refurbishing the new complex, Mercer University’s President William Underwood, who says he grew up listening to The Allman Brothers Band, visited a number of historic musical destinations like Nashville’s RCA Studio B, where Elvis Presley recorded several hits.
Officials in Macon hope the restoration, which was funded with assistance from two charitable foundations and additional private donors, will help spur the redevelopment of Macon’s downtown.
The restored studio is part of Mercer Music at Capricorn, a 20,000-square-foot complex that will include a museum. The goal – to train and inspire new musicians. The facility will feature 12 rehearsal rooms for musicians to refine their craft. The studio will also include a custom-built, 40-channel analog sound board that was created by Maryland-based company API.
A second larger venue called Studio B will be used for large-scale recordings and to host concerts and other special events. Underwood said that film scores may end up being recorded there, tying into Georgia’s booming film industry.
The idea is “to be a place to bring talented, creative people together and have them interact and engage with one another,” said Underwood. “One day, hopefully, the next Otis Redding will come out of that incubator.”
Otis Redding was discovered more than 60 years ago while performing at fraternity parties at Mercer University.
Other acts that recorded at the studio included the Charlie Daniels Band, the Marshall Tucker Band, Elvin Bishop and Wet Willie.
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