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130 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS 2012-2020
History Collage
Cash is King
Madame Zucca's Hollywood Casino
United Western Recorders
Bill Putnam - Desk
Sinatra - Jobim - Ogerman
Franky and Nancy Sinatra
Elvis
Beach Boys
Brian Wilson
The Mama's and the Papa's
A Star is Born
EastWest Studios

HISTORY

No other studio in the world has a story like ours...

EastWest Documentary

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 One 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 PutnamFrank Sinatra’s personal engineer – who kept the name, but started the process of transforming the space into the recording studio we know today.

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Ushering in a New Age in Media

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 One, including “My Way”, “The Summer Wind”, “That’s Life”, and his duet with his daughter Nancy Sinatra “Somethin’ Stupid”. Also in Studio One, 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 Two 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 Two include Ricky Nelson’s “Fools Rush In”, Wayne Newton’s “Danke Schoen”, and the Righteous Brothers’ “Soul & Inspiration”.

It was in Studio Three, 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”.

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In the 1970s, the hits kept on coming at Western Recorders. In Studio One, 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 One, the themes from The Godfather and M.A.S.H. were recorded.

In Studio Two, 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 Three, 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.

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In the early 1980s, recordings for Michael Jackson’s best-selling album Thriller were done in Studio One, along with the theme from the TV show Hill Street Blues. In Studio Three, 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 One, along with U2’s album Rattle and Hum. Studio Two 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 Three along with Stevie Knicks’ Rock A Little.

It was also during this time period that Studio Five was built out of the old UREI offices for alternative rock producer Scott Litt.

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In the early 1990s, Michael Jackson returned for his album Dangerous in Studio One. Also in Studio One, 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 One – and every studio in the building – for their album Bridges to Babylon.

Studio Two 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 Five 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.

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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 Two, 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 Three and were mixed in Studio Five. Also in Studio Five, 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 One 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 One and 2, respectively, and pop phenomenon Rihanna recorded work for her album Rated R in Studio Three.

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Since opening, EastWest Studios has carried on this proud tradition of recording the best of the industry. In Studio One, music has been recorded for TV shows such as Mad Men, Glee, and The Voice, and films including Selma and Eat, Pray, Love. Studio One was a location in the Oscar-winning film La La Land and also where the Grammy-nominated albums including The Foo Fighter's Concrete and Gold, Justin Bieber’s Purpose, Marco Antonio Solis' Gracias Por Estar Aqui, and Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience were recorded.

Studio Two is still rocking with the return of Muse, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Slipknot, Slayer, and Metallica. Rihanna, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Janelle Monáe, and Lady Gaga have recorded some of their biggest chart toppers in Studio Three, which was also the site of scoring sessions for Gone Girl and the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise. Studio Five went through extensive renovations and reopened in 2014, hosting projects by Wu Tang Clan, Frank Ocean, Martin Garrix, and The War On Drugs Grammy-winning album A Deeper Understanding.

For over 50 years, we have been making music history, turning out more Grammy nominated 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.

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