Founded in 1959 by John Fry (1944-2014), Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee is among the most renowned recording studios in the world. It remains one of the busiest and technically innovative facilities of its kind in the Southeastern United States.

Beginning as a project among high school friends, Ardent initially operated out of Fry's parents' garage, but by 1966 had outgrown this space. Bringing in producers Jim Dickinson and Terry Manning along with a staff, the studio relocated to 1457 National Street in Memphis. It operated in this commercial space until 1971 when it moved again to its current location at 2000 Madison Avenue, a custom-built facility that Fry started putting together in 1968. A third studio was added and opened in 1980, and a fourth is scheduled to come online in late 2024. Since Fry's passing, the facility has been managed by Jody Stephens, Vice President of Production since 1987 and best known as the drummer from Big Star.

Ardent was the first recording studio in the United States with a Mellotron, and provides a wide array of vintage and modern synthesizers, drum machines, and other instruments for client use. From mixing consoles to digital recording, it has been keeping at the forefront of audio recording technology for nearly sixty years. Artists that have recorded or mixed at Ardent include Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Sam and Dave, James Taylor, R.E.M., The White Stripes, Big Star, 3 Doors Down, Cat Power, Gin Blossoms, Isaac Hayes, Stevie Ray Vaughan, North Mississippi Allstars, George Thorogood, B.B. King, Stevie Wonder, Leon Russell, Steve Earle, The Smashing Pumpkins, Allman Brothers, ZZ Top and numerous Stax Records alumni. To date, Ardent has collected over 70 Gold and Platinum albums and singles.

As of this writing, all the studios at Ardent are currently under renovation.


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