Southern Ground, 114 17th Avenue South

The recording studio owned by musician Zac Brown for the past decade began as a Sunday school building for the Addison Avenue Cumberland Presbyterian church 120 years ago. The congregation, which bought the property at the southeast corner of Addison Avenue (now 17th Avenue South) and McGavock Street in 1897, worshipped there from 1901 until 1950. The building subsequently housed the Nashville School of Fine Art, the Nashville Royal Order of Moose lodge and a Veterans of Foreign Wars clubhouse before Monument Records head Fred Foster purchased it in 1968 and transformed it into a recording studio. Monument artists like Kris Kristofferson and Larry Gatlin recorded their early albums at the studio Sammi Smith cut her hit version of Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night” there, and Tom T. Hall recorded “Homecoming.” During part of the 1970s and 1980s, it operated as Young ‘Un Studios. Brown bought the building in 2012 and renovated the studio. In the past decade, Zac Brown Band and acts ranging from Kacey Musgraves and Dwight Yoakam to Megadeth and Foo Fighters have recorded there. Brown put the studio on the market, putting the future of both the studio and the structure in question.

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