Former Location –
In 1972, the Robb brothers founded Cherokee Studios on their ranch in Chatsworth, California. Shortly thereafter, the studio produced its first gold album, “Pretzel Logic,” by Steely Dan. In 1975, the brothers purchased M.G.M. Recording Studios and renamed it Cherokee Studios.
Cherokee boasted well over 200 gold and platinum albums, countless major motion picture scores and soundtracks, and an impressive client list that reads like a who’s who of American music.
Cherokee closed its doors on Aug 31, 2007. The last album recorded at Cherokee was “Out of the Wilderness” by Blackwater Surprise.
Notable Recordings Made At Cherokee:
Alice Cooper – “Zipper Catches Skin“
Jeff Beck – “Wired“
David Bowie – “Changesonebowie“
David Bowie – “Station to Station“
The Cars – “Candy-O“
The Cars – “Panorama“
Electric Light Orchestra – “A New World Record“
Foreigner – “Head Games“
Whitney Houston – “Whitney Houston“
Michael Jackson – “Thriller“
Jimmy Eat World – “Bleed American“
Lemonheads – “It’s a Shame About Ray“
Motley Crue – “Theatre of Pain“
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – “Hard Promises“
Pixies – “Trompe Le Monde“
Rod Stewart – “Foot Loose and Fancy Free“
Rod Stewart – “A Night On the Town“
Rod Stewart – “Blondes Have More Fun“
Cat Stevens – “Izitso“
Tantric – “Tantric“
Frank Zappa – “Sheik Yerbouti“
Soundtrack to “Dirty Dancing“
Soundtrack to “Saturday Night Fever“
Soundtrack to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band“
Cherokee Recording Studios
751 North Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles CA 90046
Don’t forget portions of Bobby Brown’s Don’t Be Cruel album were also recorded here! I was unaware Thriller was associated with this studio. I thought it was recorded at Westlake?
Joseph, they recently changed their website. Previously they had listed many of the albums that were recorded here and Thriller was one of them.
It could be that parts of the album were recorded here, not the entire album?
my brother, Vince
Worked for the Robbs and Cherokee in the late 70’s into the 80’s, he really enjoyed his time there, working with very professional people, staff as well as recording artists. i had several visits to the studio, found it just fascinating…
glad they are still up and running !!!
The Rollins Band recorded NICE at your studios! You should list that one too its and excellent album!
I was there for the Tommy Bolin Band Private Eyes sessions for my first Pro Recording Session
After meeting their father, Dave, I helped them build the studio in the barn on their ranch. After they moved to their new place in Hollywood they allowed me to bring kids from Childrens Hospital and Ronald McDonalds Inn for them to see the studio and some bands.
Does anyone know the address of the original Chatsworth location?
I’m a Chatsworth musician who just learned Cherokee started here.
Smoke Tree Ranch…next door to the Spahn Ranch where the Manson gang lived. They used to come and hang around during Steely Dan sessions and had to be chased away.
I recorded there in 1973. It was on the East side of Baden between Lassen and Plummer, just North of the crest of the hill. The studio was in an old converted barn. The Robbs were great people. I recorded two tunes with them on one afternoon. I had worked all summer to get money for studio time but my time was up by 9:00 PM. They liked my music and stayed up until 2:00 AM mixing and mastering at no charge. They also invited my back to shop my music to a producer who was recording there. Another time, I stopped by for something and they invited me in to add tracks to something being recorded by Flo and Eddy (former members of the Turtles). They were recording on 16 track tape, which was state of the art at the time. Wonderful people. I will always be grateful for their kindness.
staff assist 1987-1989
still my favorite studio. Many good sessions there with too many greats to mention here working for Dee, Susan, Joe and Bruce wasn’t always easy but they were fair and good people. Have had a great career in audio with a foundation from Cherokee Studios .p.s. the tape vault was haunted
Susan is my sister deep passed away quite some time ago trying to find out if my sister still alive and I can’t get a hold of Bruce
I was there for a short while in 93-94 and the whole place had a vibe, that
it was known for. I found myself homeless after the Northridge quake and
basically moved in for a month, sleeping in the room where Motley Crue
recorded Shout at the Devil, which had the tape vault in back, which was my
job to put the tapes back on the shelves after the quake. Lots of energy
and lots of ghosts.
I remember Susan screaming at me for putting her on
hold, and another time answering the phone and it was Tim Leary. They were
cutting power to the rooms that weren’t being used back in 94 so it wasn’t
a good time for Cherokee, but for a newly turned 20 year old intern, my
experiences there will forever be hard to top.
Though songwriting was my forte, I found a lot of work as a background vocalist from the mid-eighties through the 90’s, and at most of the major studios between Hollywood to The Valley (Sound City, Rumbo, the Plant), but I was lucky enough to have sung backgrounds on a pretty killer Geffen LP, SQUEEZE, by Fiona Flanagan, produced by Marc Tanner at Cherokee in ’91.
I’d sung with two band members (Dave Marshall and Jimmy DeGrasso), but one day I was joined by Don Dokken and Europe’s, Joey (Final Countdown) Tempest.
Having become huge fans of Bowie and Steely Dan in the early mid-seventies, I became all to familiar with their association with Cherokee (seemed like one in every three LP’s I owned was recorded there), but that place just oozed creativity, and no wonder why George Martin named it the best studio in America.
It’s sad that some of these large iconic recording studios in Los Angeles have shut down. With the price of land and rent in LA and the trend of modern pop music moving towards more electronic based music rather than live bands a lot of these larger studios have shut down. There are lots of smaller studios still around in LA. This article talks about the different types of recording studios in LA that are still up and running https://currentsound.com/general/the-hidden-world-of-los-angeles-recording-studios/