Born Stanley Herbert Ross, 15 December 1928, Brooklyn, New York City
Died 11 March 2011, Burbank, California

Engineer / studio owner

This biography is as much about a recording studio as it is about a person. Hollywood's Gold Star Recording Studios was founded by David S. GOLD and STAn Ross at 6252 Santa Monica Avenue in 1950. Until it closed in 1984, Gold Star was the birthplace of many classic recordings and notable careers. The studio generated over 100 Top 40 hit records, more RIAA/National Endowment of the Arts "Songs of the Century" than any independent studio in history, the most-programmed record in BMI history ("You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers), the first hit record incorporating electronic phasing ("The Big Hurt" by Miss Toni Fisher, 1959), and, most famous of all, that unique production style which has come to be known as the "Wall of Sound". Gold Star was hailed by the National Association of Recording Arts and Science's Grammy Magazine as one "of a handful of studios that made recording history".

Born in Brooklyn, Stan Ross moved to Los Angeles with his parents at the age of fifteen. He attended Fairfax High and graduated in 1946, then went to work at Electro-Vox Recording Studio. Within a year he was the number one engineer there and was given more and more responsibility. The first big hit he engineered was "Deck Of Cards" by T. Texas Tyler. After being refused a pay raise by Electro-Vox honcho Bert Gottschalk, Ross decided to start his own studio, with his friend Dave Gold, an electronics wizard who built all the equipment used at Gold Star. From 1956 onwards they had two studios. One was a simple mono demo studio at a low price range for people to do demos and the other was Studio A where Phil Spector would later develop his Wall Of Sound.

Some of the hits recorded at Gold Star:

Don Robertson, The Happy Whistler (1956)
The Champs, Tequila (1958)
David Seville, Witch Doctor, The Chipmunk Song (1958)
Eddie Cochran. Summertime Blues, C'mon Everybody, Somethin' Else, Three Steps To Heaven (1958-60)
The Teddy Bears, To Know Him Is To Love Him (1958)
Ritchie Valens, Donna, La Bamba (1958)
Miss Toni Fisher, The Big Hurt (1959)
The Crystals, He's A Rebel, Da Doo Ron Ron (1962, 1963)
Bob B. Soxx and the Bluejeans, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah (1962)
The Cascades, Rhythm Of the Rain (1963)
The Ronettes, Be My Baby (1963)
The Righteous Brothers, You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling (1964)
Jewel Akens, The Birds And the Bees (1965)
Sonny and Cher, I Got You Babe (1965)
Cher, All I Really Want To Do (1965)
Ike and Tina Turner, River Deep, Mountain High (1966)
Bobby Darin, If I Were A Carpenter (1966)
The Beach Boys, Good Vibrations (1966)
Buffalo Springfield, For What It's Worth (1967)
Herb Alpert, This Guy's In Love With You (1968)

Many innovative recording techniques that are now standard in the recording industry were pioneered at Gold Star. The studio was especially famous for its echo chambers, also designed by Dave Gold. Phil Spector's "Wall Of Sound" utilised the echo chambers and Gold's hand-built equipment to its full potential. Until circa 1962 Stan Ross engineered most of the sessions himself. For the "He's A Rebel" session of July 13, 1962, Phil Spector wanted Ross behind the control board, but Ross, who found Spector difficult to work with, sent his cousin Larry Levine (who had been working for Gold Star since 1952) instead. Spector was so enthusiastic about Levine that he would become Spector's regular engineer.

Gold Star was the epicenter of what later became the hallmark of the L.A. Sound : the Wrecking Crew. This loose aggregation of highly professional session men mixed established jazz greats like Barney Kessel, Carol Kaye, Howard Roberts, Ray Pohlman and Bill Pitman with bright young rock n roll and C&W talents like Glen Campbell, James Burton, Tommy Tedesco, Leon Russell, Steve Douglas and Hal Blaine. As the recording home of ABC-TV's prime-time rock & roll show "Shindig", Gold Star hosted virtually every major pop artist of the 1960s.

The studio closed in 1984. A fire occurred in the structure after it had been closed. All contents had been removed prior to the fire. The building was later demolished. Summing up, Gold Star Studios was one of the most influential and successful commercial studios in the world. Gold Star pioneered one of the most important innovations in 20th century music : what George Martin has called the "recording studio as instrument" concept.

The studio has its own website:

Interview with Stan Ross: (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4)


These pages were originally published as "This Is My Story" in the
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