EASTWEST Studios History
For over 50 years, EastWest Studios has attracted the best in the industry and has garnered more engineering awards than all others.
In 1957, audio engineer Bill Putnam moved to California in search of a new studio. The founder of the prestigious Universal Recording studio in Chicago, Putnam looked to recreate his successes in Hollywood. In the early 60s, with the backing of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, Putnam constructed these recording studios in what was previously Radio Center Theater and then Western Recorders at 6000 Sunset Boulevard. He retained the Western Recorders name, and this studio and what is now EastWest Studios were collectively known as United/Western Recorders.
As soon as Western opened, it was producing some of the biggest records of the pop era. The first session recorded here in Studio 1 was Petula Clark’s number one hit “My Love”. Elvis Presley revived his career here with his 1968 Comeback Special. Frank Sinatra recorded such hits as “My Way”, “That’s Life”, “Strangers In The Night” and “The Lady Is a Tramp”, along with “Somethin’ Stupid” – the famed duet with his daughter Nancy.
By the mid-60s, the studios had become the musical epicenter of the pop and hippie movement. In Studio 3, The Mamas and The Papas recorded “California Dreaming” and “Monday, Monday”. Scott McKenzie laid down his classic track “San Francisco”, while The Beach Boys ushered in a new era of sound with their masterpiece album Pet Sounds.
The studios weren’t just known for turning out rock and pop hits. Famous themes for film and television were recorded here including the themes from M*A*S*H, Mission Impossible, The Monkees, Hawaii Five-O, The Partridge Family, The Beverly Hillbillies, and The Godfather.
In 1989, the studios were acquired by Allen Sides and renamed Oceanway. In 1999 Rick Adams purchased the studios and renamed it Cello. In January 2006 it was acquired by Doug Rogers of EastWest, the #1 sounds producer in the world.
Looking for a designer to take on the task of refurbishing the non-technical areas of the facility, while preserving the historic studios, Rogers contacted renowned designer Philippe Starck. Starck’s trend-setting work is known the world over for its sheer brilliance and beauty. Together, Rogers and Starck worked to cleverly strike a balance between the studios past and its future while at the same time creating something bold, functional, and unique – a complete creative environment.
After two years of construction, EastWest Studios has finally opened its doors to a new generation of artists. Thanks to the vision of Doug Rogers and Philippe Starck, this American cultural icon will survive to record the music of today and tomorrow.