While it may not look like much now, The Church Studio is historically significant as the birthplace of what became known as the "Tulsa Sound," the style of music that combines blues, country and rock. Many famous artists recorded here including Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, George Harrison, J.J. Cale, The GAP Band, Kansas, and Leon Russell himself. The Church Studio was established by recording artist Leon Russell in 1972 to be the location of his company Shelter Records, which he co-founded in 1969. The building itself was built in 1915 and called Grace Methodist Episcopal Church. As of August 2019, the current owners are remodeling the building and plan to open in the Summer of 2020. They will add a museum, a small theater/screening room, a professional culinary kitchen and bar, and collaborative space for music professionals. The Church Studio also features an archive holding a large collection of 4,000 items highlighting the legacy of Leon Russell, the musicians that recorded here, and the Tulsa Sound. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.


  • Built in 1915 as Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, The Church Studio was a historic recording studio founded by Leon Russell in 1972.
    Built in 1915 as Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, The Church Studio was a historic recording studio founded by Leon Russell in 1972.
"About." The Church Studio. Accessed August 3, 2019. https://thechurchstudio.com/about.

Wofford, Jerry. "With new owners, The Church Studio aims for recognition." October 27, 2016. https://www.tulsaworld.com/blogs/scene/offbeat/with-new-owners-the-church-studio-aims-for-recognition/article_66d41471-9e36-5851-ba77-96edf3eed8eb.html?mode=jqm.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Church_Studio#/media/File:The_legendary_The_Church_Studio_in_Tulsa,_Oklahoma_home_to_Leon_Russell's_recording_studio_and_Shelter_Records.jpg