Audio Recording Inc.

2227 5th Avenue

2227 5th Avenue, Seattle, May 27, 2020, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Steve Laughery band, Audio Recording studio, Seattle, ca. 1969, Courtesy Peter Blecha Collections

2227 5th Avenue

In 1961, Seattle audio engineer Kearney Barton — who had already cut recordings for many of Seattle’s 1950s pop stars, including Bonnie Guitar, Pat Suzuki, The Fleetwoods, and the Brothers Four — moved his Northwest Recorders from downtown to the northern edge of Belltown on Denny Way. Recast as Audio Recording Inc., the studio on Denny was the site of the 1961 session that captured Little Bill Englehart’s early version of the region’s signature rock song, “Louie Louie.”

To accommodate his expanding business, Barton moved deeper into Belltown in April 1965, converting a former muffler-repair shop on this site into a studio. It was here where hit-making sessions were held with local bands the Wailers, Counts, Dynamics, Sonics, Don and the Goodtimes, and Merrilee Rush, magically capturing the essence of the Northwest Sound. For years, Barton recorded artists and taught a generation of budding audio engineers. In 1981, he moved to a new studio at his home in Seattle’s Bryant neighborhood.

Continue south on 5th Avenue to a vacant lot at the southwest corner of 5th and Lenora.

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