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Nashville in Davidson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Nashville's Music Row

1225, 1227, 1301, 1303, 1305 16th Avenue South / 1303 16th Avenue South

 
 
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By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, March 29, 2020
1. Music Row Marker
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1225, 1227, 1301, 1303, 1305 16th Avenue South

Before Music Row
Long before becoming Music Row, this land belonged to Judge Oliver Hayes, father of Adelicia Hayes who built Belmont Mansion. By the early 20th century, this area had become a fashionable streetcar suburb filled with homes, churches, a fire hall and grocery stores. Nearby were Vanderbilt University and Ward-Belmont College for Women (today's co-ed Belmont University). In 1904, this street was renamed from Belmont to 16th Avenue and Addison became 17th Avenue. By the 1930s, these streets were lined with Victorian, Four Square, Tudor Revival, Bungalow, and Craftsman-style homes.

Becoming Music Row
The transition of these five homes into being part of Music Row followed a tradition that started in 1954 when brothers Owen and Harold Bradley moved their recording studio and Decca Records office into an old home on this street. Other music businesses followed and by the early 1960s, the area was known as Music Row. These homes, built between 1920 and 1924, were primarily rental houses and apartments through the 1980s. Only
Nashville's Music Row Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, March 29, 2020
2. Nashville's Music Row Marker
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one house, at 1225 16th Ave. S., was used by music businesses during these years.

Music Row Champion
In the early 1990s, Pam Lewis purchased and restored these five blighted buildings. Locating her office at 1303 16th Avenue S., she leased the others to music industry businesses, making them a part of Music Row. They have continuously housed music industry offices including public relations, songwriting, management, music instruction, and legal and accountant businesses. Lewis was awarded a certificate of merit from the Tennessee Historical Commission for the rehabilitations.

Liz Rose Music Publishing
1305 16th Avenue South

Grammy-winning songwriter Liz Rose helped launch the career of Taylor Swift, co-writing 20 of Swift's songs including "Tim McGraw," "Teardrops on My Guitar,” and "You Belong With Me.” Rose has penned hits for many other artists including Bonnie Raitt, Alison Krauss, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, and Carrie Underwood. She located her publishing company in this building from 2012 to 2019.

1225 16th Avenue South
In 1975, this home was the office of Dot Records, an independent record company that operated from 1950 to 1979. Starting in Gallatin, Tennessee, the label moved to California, changed owners several times and issued records in every
Nashville's Music Row Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, March 29, 2020
3. Nashville's Music Row Marker
musical genre before ABC moved its headquarters back to Nashville to focus on country music. In 1979, MCA bought the label and issued records by Jan Howard, Jim Ed Brown and Tompall Glaser. Big Machine Records revived the label in 2014 with artists Maddie and Tae, Drake White and Steven Tyler.

From 1977-1980, this building was occupied by Pi-Gem Music, founded by Nashville talent manager Jack Johnson, country legend Charley Pride, and RCA head Jerry Bradley. Managing the company was Tom Collins, manager for Barbara Mandrell, Ronnie Milsap, and others. Pi-Gem had tremendous success with songwriters such as Kye Fleming who wrote "Smoky Mountain Rain,” a major hit for Ronnie Milsap, and "Nobody,” a No. 1 hit for Sylvia. Pi-Gem was sold to the (Lawrence) Welk Music Group in 1981, and Collins left to form his own company.

I had originally started the company with Jack Johnson, my manager during the early years of my career. Pi-Gem had been named after my astrological sign, which is Pisces and his astrological sign which was Gemini. - Charley Pride

From 1982-1985, Don Gant Enterprises was located here. Gant was a singer, songwriter and producer who had been part of the group Neon Philharmonic in the late 1960s. He later joined MGM Records where he produced records for Jimmy Buffet, Roy Orbison, Lefty Frizzell, and Eddy
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Raven, before moving to ABC Records. Other music businesses occupying this building in the 1980s included Old Friends Music, Golden Bridge Music, and Mighty Pretty Music.

Pam Lewis owned the property from 1993-1995 when she renovated the building and leased it to Travel Stars, a music industry travel company.

1303 16th Avenue South

Creating A Spotlight: Telling Music's Story
PLA Media has placed major record label and independent artists in the spotlight since the 1980s with campaigns that include media coverage, special events and promotions. The award-winning company also helps music lovers discover attractions like the Americana Music Triangle, museums honoring Tina Turner, Patsy Cline, and Johnny Cash, Skull's Rainbow Room, Nudie's Honky Tonk, and events including the Pilgrimage Music Festival. Founder Pam Lewis has helped shape the careers of many country stars including Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, The Judds, and Alabama. After starting in New York City as part of the original publicity and marketing team of WASEC (Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment Company) which launched MTV, Nickelodeon, and The Movie Channel, Lewis came to Nashville in the early 1980s as the company's national media director. Her next stop was RCA Records before opening Pam Lewis and Associates (which became PLA Media) in 1985. Lewis has
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received recognition and awards from Billboard, Performance Magazine, Nashville Business Journal, Country Music Association, American Biographical Institute, International Society of Poets, and Tennessee Association of Museums. She also has been recognized with awards for her preservation work and advocacy across the state.

Discovering Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood
In 1987, Pam Lewis and music industry veteran Bob Doyle formed Doyle Lewis Management. Their first client was an unknown Oklahoma crooner named Garth Brooks. Lewis and Doyle arranged for Capitol Records' president and staff to hear Brooks sing. The result was a record deal and the Garthmania phenomenon - million selling records, packed concerts at stadiums and multiple awards. Lewis also managed Trisha Yearwood's early career, landing a record deal at MCA Records and guiding the release of Yearwood's debut album in 1991. Yearwood became the first female country artist to sell one million copies of her first single "She's in Love with the Boy."

1308 16th Avenue South: Allentown Recording Studios
Across the street is Allentown Recording Studios, owned by Garth Brooks. The early 20th century house was purchased by legendary producer Cowboy Jack Clement in 1971 and converted to Jack's Tracks. In 1976, producer Allen Reynolds bought the studio, producing hits for Crystal Gayle, Kathy Mattea, Hal Ketchum, Don Williams, and others. Reynolds produced all of Garth Brooks records (except one) in this studio. In 2012, Brooks bought the studio and renamed it Allentown Recording Studios in honor of his producer. In 2018, Brooks completed construction of a large studio on the back of the building.
 
Erected 2019 by PLA Media.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainmentIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1904.
 
Location. 36° 8.473′ N, 86° 47.618′ W. Marker is in Nashville, Tennessee, in Davidson County. Marker is on 16th Avenue South just north of Horton Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1303 16th Avenue South, Nashville TN 37212, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mississippi to Nashville (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rev. Bill Barnes (approx. 0.2 miles away); Betty Chiles Nixon (approx. ¼ mile away); Remnants of the University of Nashville (approx. ¼ mile away); William Edmondson Studio and Home Site (approx. 0.3 miles away); Edmondson Home Site (approx. 0.3 miles away); University School of Nashville (approx. 0.3 miles away); Disciples of Christ Historical Society (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nashville.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 4, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 3, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 63 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 3, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 17, 2021