Episode 2 of 2
To celebrate Maida Vale Studios reaching the grand old age of 75 Cerys Matthews takes a historical tour through one of the music industry's most well loved buildings.
Since its time as an roller skating rink and national insurance offices, Maida Vale has gone on to become a launch pad to stardom for young aspiring musicians and actors. Not only have the studios been instrumental in the careers of many successful artists they were also a key player at the beginning of Radio 2's life when, thanks to restrictions on the amount of recorded music that could be played, the BBC had to make its own live music.
Lead a musician along the main corridor of Maida Vale studios for the first time and you can almost feel the excitement and trepidation bubbling up inside them; the recognition of the great sounds that have been created inside the studios weighing heavily on their shoulders. Arguably more artists have walked through Maida Vale's Art Deco front door than even the legendary Abbey Road.
Its historic roster covers the breadth of the entertainment industry; from Led Zepplin and the Pink Floyd to Harry Connick Jr. and Robbie Williams. History permeates through the building: Vera Lynn entertained the locals through the war with the help of the BBC Dance Band; Bing Crosby, made his last ever recording in the Studio 3; and the Beatles strayed from Abbey Road to make their BBC radio programme Pop Goes The Beatles. And hidden away, in what was once known as Room 13, were those lesser known geniuses of the Radiophonic Workshop who busily created the wacky world of sound effects for The Goon Show and the iconic Doctor Who theme.
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