With humble beginnings as a small radio repair
shop in a house near the corner of 7th and Weldon, Ramsey's Radio Repair
grew to become the most successful recording studio in Arizona. Started
in the 40's by Clay Ramsey
the business was enlarged several times for a repair shop, record store,
barber shop and a small studio operated by Clay's son Floyd and his
wife Mary when he returned from the Army in 1945.
In the early 50's the Ramsey's began recording square dance records
for their Old Timer Record label. Eventually that music operation became
Audio Recorders in 1957. Sanford Clark's "The Fool" was the
first hit from the tiny studio in 1956. Duane Eddy cut the million selling "Rebel
Rouser," The Twang Heard Around The World" there in 1958,
followed a year later by Skip & Flip's "It Was I." More
hits would follow, all recorded in that little studio with the great
water tank echo. Over the years Floyd Ramsey started several local labels
including Liberty Bell, Rev and MCI in the 50's and his own Ramco imprint
in the 60's. Many local performers made records for these labels before
success including Al Casey, Wayne Newton, Ted Newman, Waylon Jennings
and many others.
Hit records may have brought the fame, but the many commercial sessions
were the bread and butter as the business continued to grow and expand.
In 1963 with money from investor Niblack Thorne, a large modern studio
was built across the street. The new Audio Recorders featured state
of the art equipment, a main studio large enough to record the Phoenix
Symphony with smaller rooms for mixing, mastering and tape duplication
which was becoming an important part of the business.
As the recording business peaked in the early
70's Ramsey began selling Sony professional video equipment and the
named was changed to Audio-Video Recorders of Arizona. By the time Ramsey
sold the business in April of 1991 annual gross sales were almost $7
million. Not too bad for a business that started in a small building,
on the corner of 7th and Weldon.
Floyd passed away at home on April 17th, 2008 after a long battle with heart and health problems. Floyd and his wife Mary had recently celebrated 64 years of marriage in November of 2007. Floyd will forever be remembered for his lasting contribution to Arizona's recording industry.