The studios first constructed as Cash Is King grocery market
Cash Is King closes, facility turned into Madame Zucca’s Hollywood Casino
Renamed the Cotton Club
Renamed as The French Casino
The casino closes, facility turned into West Coast Productions
Renamed Radio Center Theatre
Renamed Western Recorders
Originally constructed as Cash Is King grocery market in 1933, the recording studios have a history that spans over 80 years.
Cash is King was at its time the largest market on the West Coast (you can still see some of the meat locker doors from this time). The market survived the Depression years until 1942 when it was converted into Madame Zucca’s Hollywood Casino. Madame Zucca’s entertained World War II soldiers with its wild burlesque shows and not-so-legal gambling. Over the next couple of years, the name was changed to the Cotton Club and then again to the French Casino in attempts to get around new liquor and gaming laws.
By 1950 the casino had closed and the building was converted into a radio broadcast center. First called West Coast Productions, the main stage was where Studio 1 stands today and produced hit radio shows like the Tennessee Ernie Ford Show. In 1954 the name was changed to Radio Center Theatre.
In 1957, Don Blake acquired the building and it was renamed Western Recorders. Soon, Blake would go on to sell Western Recorders to an engineer named Bill Putnam – Frank Sinatra’s personal engineer – who kept the name, but started the process of transforming the space into the recording studio we know today.
West Studio Opens
Bill Putnam purchases the building with backing of Frank Sinatra Putnam begins transforming the building into a recording studio
Barry McGuire records “Eve of Destruction” in Studio 3
The Beach Boys record “Barbara Ann” in Studio 2 Studio 1 opens for business, first session is Petula Clark’s “My Love” The Beach Boys record “California Girls” in Studio 3 Gerry Lewis & The Playboys record “Everybody Loves a Clown” in Studio 2 Johnny Mathis’ Love is Everything recorded in Studio 3 The Mamas & the Papas record “California Dreaming” in Studio 3
The Righteous Brothers record “Soul & Inspiration” in Studio 2 The Beach Boys record their masterpiece album Pet Sounds in Studio 3 Frank Sinatra records "Strangers in the Night" in Studio 1 The Mamas & The Papas record “Monday, Monday” in Studio 3 Scott Mackenzie records his classic hit “San Francisco” in Studio 3 Frank Sinatra records “The Summer Wind” in Studio 1 Roger Williams records “Born Free” in Studio 1 The Mamas & The Papas record “Dancing in the Street” in Studio 3 Frank Sinatra records “That’s Life” in Studio 1
Johnny Rivers records “Baby I Need Your Lovin’” in Studio 3 The theme from the TV series Mission Impossible is recorded in Studio 1 Frank and Nancy Sinatra record their duet “Somethin’ Stupid” in Studio 1 Elvis Presley records his 1968 Comeback Special in Studio 1
Crosby Stills and Nash’s “Long Time Coming” in Studio 2 Theme from Hawaii Five-O recorded in Studio 2 5th Dimensions’ cover of “Stone Soul Picnic” recorded in Studio 3 The Cowsills record “Hair” in Studio 3 Mason Williams records “Classical Gas” in Studio 2
By 1960, Bill Putnam was already known as one of the giants of the recording industry.
The inventor of the modern day recording console, he had already founded an incredibly successful recording studio in Chicago called Universal Recording. With the backing of his clients Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, Putnam moved to California to realize his dream of creating the largest recording studio complex on the West Coast. He first purchased United Studios at 6050 Sunset Boulevard, then purchased Western Recorders in 1961.
As soon as the doors opened, Western Recorders was producing some of the biggest hits of the pop music era. Frank Sinatra, whose new label Reprise was also housed in the building, recorded some of his greatest work in Studio 1, including “My Way”, “The Summer Wind”, “That’s Life”, and his duet with his daughter Nancy Sinatra “Somethin’ Stupid”. Also in Studio 1, the original Mission Impossible theme song was recorded, Elvis Presley revived his career with his 1968 Comeback Special, Roger Williams sang “Born Free”, and Peggy Lee recorded her hit “Is That All There Is?”.
The early years of Studio 2 were dominated by some of the most memorable recordings of American television, including the themes from The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Hawaii Five-O. Other hits from the time in Studio 2 include Ricky Nelson’s “Fools Rush In”, Wayne Newton’s “Danke Schoen”, the Righteous Brothers’ “Soul & Inspiration”, and Mason Williams’ “Classical Gas”.
It was in Studio 3, however, that sound of the 60s generation came into being. Here, The Beach Boys recorded their masterpiece album Pet Sounds and some of their greatest hits, including “California Girls”, “Good Vibrations”, and “God Only Knows”. It was also here that The Mamas & The Papas recorded their smashes “California Dreaming”, “Monday, Monday” and “Dancing in the Street”. Other notable recordings from this period include Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco”, “Make Your Own Kind of Music” by Mama Cass, Barry McGuire’s anti-war anthem “Eve of Destruction” and The Cowsills’ hit “Hair” from the musical “Hair”.
David Cassidy sings “I Think I Love You” in Studio 2
The DeFranco Family records Save The Last Dance For Me in Studio 3
Filming for motion picture You Light Up My Life in Studio 2
Detective records Takes One To Know One in Studio 1 Johnny Rivers records Slow Dancing (Swayin' To The Music) in Studio 2 Barbra Streisand records her album Superman in Studio 2 Music recorded for the TV miniseries Roots in Studio 2 Theme from the TV series The Love Boat recorded in Studio 2
In the 1970s, the hits kept on coming at Western Recorders. In Studio 1, Barbara Streisand became a household name with “The Way We Were”, Frank Sinatra recorded “New York, New York”, the band Player recorded “Baby Come Back”, and Olivia Newton John sang “Hopelessly Devoted To You” for the soundtrack for Grease. Also in Studio 1, the themes from The Godfather and M.A.S.H. were recorded.
In Studio 2, David Cassidy sang “I Think I Love You” from The Partridge Family, the themes were done from the TV show The Love Boat and the miniseries Roots, Dionne Warwick recorded her hit “Déjá Vu” and David Bowie mixed Iggy Pop’s groundbreaking album Raw Power.
Dolly Parton’s soundtrack for the film 9 to 5 was recorded in Studio 3, along with the band America’s song “Goodbye” from their album Hat Trick. Disco reigned supreme with The DeFranco Family’s Save The Last Dance For Me and Herbie Hancock’s Monster. Throughout the building, scenes for the motion pictures A Star Is Born and You Light Up My Life were filmed.
Theme for the TV series Hill Street Blues recorded in Studio 1
Recordings for Michael Jackson’s epic album Thriller in Studio 1
Gladys Knight and the Pips record Visions in Studio 2
Donna Summers records Cats Without Claws in Studio 3
Stevie Knicks records Rock A Little in Studio 3 Bill Putnam sells the studios to Allen Sides, studios renamed Ocean Way
In the early 1980s, recordings for Michael Jackson’s best-selling album Thriller were done in Studio 1, along with the theme from the TV show Hill Street Blues. In Studio 3, Blondie cranked out some of their most famous hits, including “The Tide is High” and “Rapture”.
In 1985, Bill Putnam sold both United Studios and Western Recorders to engineer Allen Sides. Putnam’s health had been ailing for several years so he was anxious to sell his holdings. Allen Sides still had to convince Frank Sinatra though, who still owned a stake in the company. Once successful, Sides renamed both studios Ocean Way Recording.
The change in ownership didn’t stop the train of hits. Madonna’s Like A Prayer was recorded in Studio 1, along with U2’s album Rattle and Hum. Studio 2 welcomed Elvis Costello for his album Spike and The Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Mother’s Milk. The Red Hot Chili Peppers would go on to make many more albums in this room. Donna Summers recorded Cats Without Claws in Studio 3 along with Stevie Knicks’ Rock A Little.
It was also during this time period that Studio 5 was built out of the old UREI offices for alternative rock producer Scott Litt.
Iggy Pop records Brick By Brick in Studio 2
Meatloaf records Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell in Studio 1 Music for the film What’s Love Got To Do With It recorded in Studio 1 Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” in Studio 1, mixed in Studio 2
Tool records Ænima in Studio 1 The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ One Hot Minute recorded in Studio 5 AC/DC records Ballbreaker in Studio 2 Céline Dion records “Falling Into You” in Studio 1 Indigo Girls’ 1200 Curfews mixed in Studio 5
R.E.M. records New Adventured in Hi-Fi in Studio 2 & 5
In the early 1990s, Michael Jackson returned for his album Dangerous in Studio 1. Also in Studio 1, Guns N’ Roses recorded their album “The Spaghetti Incident?”, Meatloaf recorded Bat Out of Hell II: Back To Hell, and Tool recorded Ænima. Orchestrations were recorded for Natalie Cole’s Unforgettable, along with the soundtracks for What’s Love Got to Do With It and The Bodyguard, which included Whitney Houston’s infamous cover of “I Will Always Love You”. The Rolling Stones took over Studio 1 – and every studio in the building – for their album Bridges to Babylon.
Studio 2 had become the epicenter for rock music by this time, welcoming Iggy Pop, Slayer, Tom Petty, Incubus, AC/DC, Elton John, Blink 182, Greenday, Weezer, and the return of The Red Hot Chili Peppers for their hit album Californication.
Studio 5 saw mixes from R.E.M., Liz Phair, The Indigo Girls, and Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged in New York.
In 1999, owner Allen Sides sold the building to computer magnate Rick Adams, who changed the name to Cello Studios.
Macy Gray records The ID in Studio 1 Music for the TV series Six Feet Under recorded in Studio 1 Blink 182 records Take Off Your Pants and Jacket in Studio 2 Natalie Merchant records Motherland in Studio 2 System of a Down record Toxicity in Studio 3 Tool records Lateralus in Studio 1 Red Hot Chili Peppers record By The Way in Studio 2 Weezer records Maladroit in Studio 2
Soundtrack for the motion picture Spider-Man mixed in Studio 5 AFI records Sing the Sorrow in Studio 1 Soundtrack for the motion picture The Scorpion King mixed in Studio 5 Badly Drawn Boy records Have You Fed the Fish in Studio 2 The Apex Theory’s Topsy Turvey mixed in Studio 5 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers record The Last DJ in Studio 2 Muse records Absolution in Studio 3, mixed in Studio 5 Audioslave records Audioslave in Studio 2, mixed in Studio 5
New Order’s Waiting for the Siren’s Call mixed in Studio 5 Cello Studios closes down The studios sold to Doug Rogers, become EastWest Studios
Renovations by designer Phillipe Starck begin
EastWest Studios opens for business Music for the motion picture Burlesque recorded in Studio 1 Music for the motion picture Get Him To the Greek recorded in Studio 2 Jerry Lee Lewis’ Mean Old Man recorded in Studio 2 Rihanna records Rated R in Studio 3
During the Cello years, the studios took on a more hard rock sound. Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down, Audioslave, Jimmy Eat World, Ryan Adams, Natalie Merchant, and Sum 41 made some of their best work during these years in Studio 2, along with the return of Weezer, Tom Petty, Blink 182, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. The room became a favorite of legendary producer Rick Rubin.
The early work of The Mars Volta and Muse came through Studio 3 and were mixed in Studio 5. Also in Studio 5, mixes were done for My Chemical Romance, Franz Ferdinand, and New Order, along with the soundtracks for the films Spider-Man, The Scorpion King, and Daredevil. The ambience of Studio 1 lent a large sound to albums by AFI, Tool, and Macy Gray, as well as HBO’s Six Feet Under.
In 2005, Cello Studios shut down and the studios were in danger of closing for good. Just before it was slated for demolition, EastWest Sounds owner Doug Rogers purchased the facility, who changed the studios to our contemporary name – EastWest Studios. First though, Rogers brought in famed designer Phillippe Starck to completely remodel the lobby, kitchen, and artist lounges in order to bring the facility into the 21st century, while preserving the historic look and sound of the recording rooms.
In 2009, EastWest Studios opened its door for business. The soundtracks for the films Burlesque and Get Him To The Greek were recorded in Studio 1 and 2, respectively, and pop phenomenon Rihanna recorded work for her album Rated R in Studio 3.
Luis Miguel records Luis Miguel in Studio 1 Music for the motion picture Iron Man II recorded in Studio 1 Rod Stewart records Fly Me To The Moon in Studio 1 Music for the motion picture Eat, Pray, Love recorded in Studio 1 Music for the TV series Mad Men recorded in Studio 1 The Red Hot Chili Peppers record By The Way in Studio 2 Rihanna records Loud in Studio 3 Foster the People record Torches in Studio 1
Music for the TV series Glee recorded in Studio 1 Frank Ocean records Channel Orange in Studio 2 and Studio 3 Music for the TV series American Idol recorded in Studio 1 Dwight Yoakum records Three Pears in Studio 1 Garbage records Not Your Kind of People in Studio 2 Music for the motion picture Tower Heist recorded in Studio 1 Sum 41 record Screaming Bloody Murder in Studio 2 Nas records Life is Good in Studio 1 and Studio 3 The Cult record Weapon of Choice in Studio 1 Jason Mraz records Love Is A Four Letter Wor in Studio 1 Melody Gardot records her Grammy winning album The Absence in Studio 2 Jimmy Cliff’s Rebirth mixed in Studio 3
Filming for the TV series The Voice in Studio 1 Music for the TV series 90210 recorded in Studio 1 Richie Sambora records Aftermath of a Lowdown in Studio 3 Muse’s album The 2nd Law recorded in Studio 1 & Studio 2 Kelly Rowland records Talk A Good Game in Studio 3 Tegan & Sara record Heartthrob in Studio 1 Justin Bieber records Believe in Studio 1 Justin Timberlake records The 20/20 Experience in Studio 1 Music for the motion picture Behind the Candelabra recorded in Studio 3 Demi Lovato records Demi in Studio 1 Ariana Grande records Yours Truly in Studio 1 and Studio 3 Music for the TV series American Horror Story recorded in Studio 3 Michael Bublé To Be Loved recorded in Studio 1
Music for the TV series Bates Motel recorded in Studio 1 Music for the TV series Revenge recorded in Studio 1 Fitz and the Tantrums record More Than Just a Dream in Studio 2 AFI records Burials in Studio 2 Janelle Monáe records The Electric Lady in Studio 3 Music for the TV series Devious Maids recorded in Studio 2 Music for the motion picture Oblivion recorded in Studio 3
Since opening, EastWest Studios has carried on this proud tradition of recording the best of the industry. In Studio 1, music has been recorded for the TV shows Mad Men, Glee, Scandal, CSI, American Idol, The Voice and for the films Iron Man II, This is 40, and Eat, Pray, Love, as well as award-winning albums To Be Loved by Michael Bublé, Foster The People’s debut album Toches, Justin Bieber’s Believe, Ariana Grande’s breakout Yours Truly, and Justin Timberlake’s twin albums The 20/20 Experience.
Studio 2 is still rocking with the return of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Garbage, Muse, AFI, Sum 41, Slayer, and Metallica. Rihanna, Frank Ocean, Demi Lovato, Lea Michele, Kelly Rowland and Janelle Monáe have recorded some of their biggest chart toppers in Studio 3, which was also the site of scoring sessions for HBO’s Behind the Candelabra and FX’s American Horror Story. In 2013, Studio 5 went through extensive renovations and reopened in 2014.
For over 50 years, we have been making music history, turning out more Grammy winning recordings than any other studio in the world. Our goal remains to provide artists with the utmost in service, the best in new and vintage technologies, and an unparalleled creative environment.