Criteria Studios: the Hit Factory Ebyabe, Wikimedia Commons. Criteria Studies (The Hit Factory), at 1755 NE 148th St., Miami, FL in 2011. Photo licensed under Creative Commons.

Criteria Studios: the Hit Factory

From the Allman Brothers to the Eagles to Lynyrd Skynyrd, some of the biggest names in American popular music have recorded at north Miami’s Criteria Recording Studios.

Founded in 1958 near a local TV station, the studio was out-of-the-way, as recording studios go, but worked hard to maintain cutting edge technology and attract artists. 

After receiving its first gold record in 1965 for James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and earning its reputation, the studio caught the attention of other artists and served as a popular alternative to the main recording destinations of New York and Los Angeles.

In 1966 a massive new studio was added to the building that would accommodate big bands and large orchestras. This new studio (now Studio A) was used extensively to record for the Jackie Gleason TV show. Criteria had found its path. 

Since that time, there have been numerous rooms and studios added. Throughout the years, Criteria Studios has been hired by many labels and has been used to produce over 300 gold and platinum singles and albums, including “Eat a Peach” by the Allman Brothers, “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac and “Saturday Night Fever” by the Bee Gees. 

Other artists have recorded at Criteria over the years, including Gloria Estefan, KC and the Sunshine Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Along with rock albums, Criteria has also recorded many jazz, soul, R&B, pop, reggae and hip-hop albums as well.

Sold in the late 1980s by founder and jazz musician Mack Emerman, and eventually purchased in 1999 by New York’s famous Hit Factory recording studios, the studio is now known as The Hit Factory Criteria Miami.