Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars' Memphis-produced hit soars to number one

Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars' Memphis-produced hit soars to number one
Published: Jan. 23, 2015 at 9:04 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2015 at 1:45 PM CST
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(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - After more than 40 years, Memphis-based Royal Studios has another number one hit.

When Bruno Mars visited the studio, the studio's chief engineer said there was instant chemistry. The rest was history.

Already in its second week at the top of the charts, Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk," featuring Bruno Mars, has the world jamming. 

"Bruno and Mark kind of dethroned Taylor Swift who has been number one forever," said Royal Studios manager and chief engineer, Boo Mitchell.

Memphians are turning it up and getting down even more after learning the track was produced in the Bluff City.

"I heard a demo to the song and I was like, 'Whoa that song is bad to the bone,'" said Mitchell. 

Boo Mitchell's father, Willie, opened the South Memphis recording workshop in 1957. It has not seen a number one hit since Al Green's 1972 single "'Let's Stay Together."

Willie Mitchell was 81 years old when he died in 2010. 

Boo Mitchell now manages the studio. He says when Ronson, Mars, and Memphis native Kameron Whalum visited in May 2014, they could not stay away.

"He (Bruno) stayed here for two days working on that song," said Mitchell, "It was just like this big love fest or a little homecoming."

"Uptown Funk" is a track on Ronson's new record. 

"Mark Ronson's album is to music what Pulp Fiction was to movies," Mitchell said. "Mark's style reminds me of how my father worked. Very specific, knows what he wants and has an amazing set of ears. And Jeff Bhasker, too, he's just a melodic genius."

With more than 125 million views on YouTube, Mars' dance moves in the video are also sweeping the nation. 

Even WMC Action News 5's Jerica Phillips joined in on the fun and did a two step with Mitchell, his aunt, and a local band member.

Mitchell said the hit song in many ways has revived Royal Studios.

"It was kind of down in the dumps around here and I was thinking, you know, it would be nice to have all of these rooms going and making music," said Mitchell. 

The continued success of "Uptown Funk" guarantees that the word is out. Number one hits are still born in Memphis, Tennessee.

Copyright 2015 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.