Smithsonian: The Site of Country Music’s First Recorded Hit Is Set to Be Demolished

152 Nassau Street in Atlanta was home to the first country music recording hit made before the genre even had a name

152 Nassau

Country music has many origin stories. One of them occurred on or around June 19, 1923, when Fiddlin’ John Carson was tapped to record music at a pop-up studio at 152 Nassau Street in Atlanta for Okeh Music. His hit recording marked the first deliberate effort to market country music for a country audience.

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NPR: The Birthplace Of Country Music’s First Hit Is Being Threatened By Modern Construction

Outside of 152 Nassau Street in Atlanta, the site of the pop-up recording studio responsible for country music’s first hit record. Debbie Elliott/NPR

Nashville may be the country music capital, but the industry for which it’s famous began in Atlanta. Now, a grassroots drive to preserve a historic downtown building is highlighting Atlanta’s somewhat forgotten role in early roots music.

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Creative Loafing: The little old brick building on Nassau Street

About to be evicted: Fiddlin’ John Carson stands outside his home in Cabbagetown in 1914 during the Fulton Bag & Cotton Mill Strike.

Country music’s first hit record was made in an unassuming office building in Downtown Atlanta, but proposed construction for a new Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville location could erase this bit of history forever.

The building, located at 152 Nassau St., currently houses a law firm but was once the location of a temporary recording studio set up by New York-based Okeh Records executive Ralph Peer. Plans for the development of a Downtown home for the Margaritaville restaurant chain, which boasts more than 30 outposts in the U.S. and abroad, were unveiled summer 2016. In response, Atlanta planning commissioner Tim Keane announced in May 2017 that the building and another structure on Walton were being nominated for historic designation to protect them from the threat of demolition by the proposed Margaritaville construction. The developer’s attorney contested the nomination which put it on hold. A demolition permit application was recently filed with the City of Atlanta associated with the construction of a Margaritaville restaurant and hotel.

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WSBTV: ‘Birthplace of country music’ to be torn down to make way for Margaritaville

ATLANTA – In downtown Atlanta, where so many things are new, a piece of history remains. Now, one group fears it may soon be gone, too.

The building at 152 Nassau St. is known to some as the birthplace of country music. It could soon be torn down to make way for a Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville.

“This is where the first commercially successful country album was ever recorded,” said Kyle Kessler, whose preservation group, Historic Atlanta, is fighting to save the building.

keep reading at WSBTV