Producer-engineer Stan Ross, co-founder of the historic Hollywood recording facility Gold Star Studios, died March 11 in Burbank. He was 82 and succumbed to complications following surgery for an abdominal aneurysm.
Ross and his partner David Gold founded their studio at 6252 Santa Monica Blvd., near Vine Street, in 1950. Known for its resonant echo chamber and its owners’ imaginative approach to recording, it was the site of many fabled rock ‘n’ roll recording sessions, including the majority of Phil Spector’s gale-force “Wall of Sound” hits and the Beach Boys’ 1966 magnum opuses “Pet Sounds” and “Good Vibrations.”
Spector cut his first session at Gold Star in 1958 with his own group, the Teddy Bears. The producer, who was mentored by Ross, later recorded such memorable sides as the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” and Ike and Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” at Gold Star, cramming enormous backup units into the cramped studio.
Ross also had a long history with the Beach Boys and recorded the group’s first demos.
Gold Star also witnessed sessions for Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba,” Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues,” Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe” and the Runaways’ debut album. Toni Fisher’s 1959 hit “The Big Hurt,” engineered inhouse, featured the first use of a whooshing flanging effect on record.
The studio also saw plenty of film and TV work and was the house facility for the weekly ABC rock show “Shindig!” during the ’60s.
Gold Star shuttered in 1984, and the location burned down not long thereafter. It was replaced by a mini-mall.