Richmond Indiana is a very history filled town on the Ohio-Indiana border in the central part of the state. Both I-70 and Historic US 40 run through Richmond. One of the historic sites in Richmond is the remains of the old Starr Piano manufacturing plants and the Genett Recording studios.
Starr made high end pianos beginning in the 1870’s. The remaining Starr pianos are highly sought after by collectors and musicins alike. The Gennett recordng Studos were in business from 1920 to 1934. The records were made in a primitive concrete and brick building with little acoustical features.
Legend says that an Oriental rug from the Gennett mansion was used as a wall hanging to deaden the echo sounds during the recording sessions.
Many famous musicians of the times got their first recordings made at Gennett. Hoagy Carmicheal’s big band recorded there. Louis Armstrong got his start in the Gennett studio. The studio was known as the first one to record jazz, blues, country and gospel genres. The Great Depression signaled the end of Genett Records as it did many other record companies of the times.
The remaining portion of the brick factory now has a modern steel structure and metal roof system. Ths building is used for concerts and other civic events.
When in Richmond be sure to seek out the old Starr Piano buliding. You just might hear echos of music from the past. Read more at the Starr Gennett Foundation website.