Eight blocks south of Hollywood Boulevard, at the corner of Santa Monica and Vine, sits a nondescript shopping center that is easily missed if you’re searching for Hollywood landmarks. It was here, in this small plaza, that David Gold and Stan Ross opened the legendary Gold Star Studios in October 1950. The original building was demolished after a fire in 1984, and a small bottled water company now operates at the original location, 6252 Santa Monica Boulevard.
Richie Valens recorded La Bamba in the small studio. Phil Spector developed the “wall of sound” here, which he used to produce such hits as You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling by the Righteous Brothers and Be My Baby by the Ronettes.
The Beach Boys, with the help of The Wrecking Crew, recorded many of their hits at Gold Star, including tracks for the popular song Good Vibrations.
Darlene Love and the Blossoms recorded He’s A Rebel, written by Gene Pitney and produced by Phil Spector, under the name The Crystals in the small studio. It was here that bassist Carol Kaye suggested to Sonny and Cher the bass line they had chosen for the song The Beat Goes On was not working and showed them a riff that would become the most recognizable phrase of the song.
The soundtracks for the TV show, Shindig under the direction of Sharon Sheeley (Poor Little Fool) were recorded here.
Among the artists who recorded hits at Gold Star, are:
Eddie Cochran (Summertime Blues), Buffalo Springfield (For What It’s Worth), Iron Butterfly, Jan and Dean, Bobby Darin, Art Garfunkle, The Monkeys, Jimmy Hendrix, the Cascades, and many other legends of early rock and roll.
Stan Ross passed away last Friday and was buried at Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills on Tuesday.