Robert EARLS Jr.
27 December, 1951 – 11 March, 2021
Robert W. Earls, Jr. (age 69) passed away on March 11, 2021. Robert (Robb) was a devoted father to his two children and a great friend to many. Additionally, he was a native Nashvillian and a part of the early rock-n-roll music scene performing in the 1970’s and 80’s with bands Factual, Warm Dark Pocket among others. He began his recording career at The Castle Recording Studio branching off to open his own studio Sound Vortex in the Belmont area in 1985. He engineered and produced a wide range of artists from a multitude of genres from Nashville, the US and Europe. He was a mentor to upcoming engineers and producers and was a strong advocate of the Nashville Independent music community. Preceded in death by his Mother, Nan Carter and father, Robert Earls, Sr., he is survived by his daughter Emily Earls, son Ewin Earls, former spouse and mother of his children Carole Earls, sister Karallyn Earls Streit and cousins Debbie Herndon, Gay Lovejoy, Dan Blaylock, Jimmy Blaylock, Pat Blaylock, and Barry Blaylock. A small visitation is planned for family with a Celebration of Life event to be scheduled at a future date.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Robert EARLS Jr.
2 May 2021
There was nothing better than a phone call from Robb leading to a session in the dark magic of Sound Vortex. I never knew where the muse and music would take us, but it was always a journey filled with creativity, wonder and laughter. I feel lucky to have known him.
25 March 2021
Some of my favorite memories of my entire life will be the hours spent in his Sound Vortex studio.
23 March 2021
I have loved you for fifty years ..... always my heart .....
17 March 2021
Robb was talented, kind, generous and very influential on the development of rock music in Nashville. He was truly one of the founding fathers. I worked with him numerous times in years past and it was always a pleasure. I had not seen him in quite a few years but thought of him often and am very sorry to hear of his passing. He will be missed and remembered fondly. My condolences and best wishes to his family and loved ones. Robb, thank you for everything.
15 March 2021
I could probably write a chapter on Robb. His influence on the emergence of the Nashville Rock and Roll scene in the early 1980s was immeasurable. Roughly a decade older than most of us, he was a resource, and a rennasaince man of sorts.
He along with John Elliot (aka El) allowed me to tag along with Factual when they started touring where I became a roadie and lighting guy of sorts and was the start of my lifetime career in music production and equipment sales and more importanly integrated me into the local punk rock and underground rock scene which led to friendships that continue to this day.
Robb was generous with his knowledge and had a curiosity, intellect, business sense and DIY ethic that allowed him to live his life as a true artist. The last day job i can remember him having was when i first met him and he worked at Music Man (i think i have the name right) music store in the early 1980s as their keyboard/synth specialist. The rest of his work life was spent running his recording studio, engineering, and renting out part of his house and eventually purchasing the house next door and renting it out as well.
Over the last decade i didn't see Robb much but when in town i would occassionally drop by and chat about recording technology, music, and catch up on gossip about the old Nashville scene which we both enjoyed.
My memories of Robb are a kaleidiscopic collage... bits and pieces... Him pasting up flyers for Factual and other events on his kitchen table using press on lettering, the initial build out of Sound Vortex (his basement studio), On stage dancing and scowling with white Capezio dance shoes on, when he first got the Prophet 5 Synthesizer-state of the art at the time, touring with Factual in the Northeast.. all of us crammed in a van, it just goes on and on.
He made a mark on a lot of peoples lives, a lot of them probably don't even realize it. Nashville has lost one of the unsung original incubators of the underground.
14 March 2021
Rob was 100X more talented musically than I am. We both knew it. However, he still treated me as an equal. I always liked him, and never heard anybody say a bad word about him. I am very sorry to hear of his passing. RIP Robb Earls