When you think of Country Music, you think of Nashville!
And thinking of Nashville makes you think of the Grand Ole Opry….but did you know that what is now the Grand Ole Opry isn’t the original? The Ryman Auditorium was home to the Opry until 1974 when the show moved to the Grand Ole Opry House, 9 miles outside of downtown.
Nashville is the capital of Tennessee and is situated on the Cumberland River, a tributary of the Ohio River. It is the 24th most populous city in the USA.
The Opry runs several times a week, with usually 5 acts per show. You can see Country Legends, like Dolly Parton (she plays there October 12th!), Toby Keith, Gatlin Brothers, and up and coming artists. We saw Toby Keith’s daughter Krystal, Bellamy Brothers, the Henningsens, Love & Theft, Jesse McReynolds, Old Dominion, Jeannie Seely, and Darryl Worley when we visited.
If you like Country Music, then you will LOVE Nashville. And if you don’t like Country Music, you’ll still LIKE if not LOVE Nashville!
We spent a few days in Nashville the first time we were there, but stayed outside of the city, so we didn’t get downtown during the evenings. The second time we were there, we went downtown every evening. There are many music clubs and honky-tonk bars! When the night is warm, they open up the windows (they are HUGE patio doors really) and you can hear the acts play as you walk along Broadway. We passed three in a row and heard 80’s music, followed by Rock-n-Roll, and the third was playing Country. So there is something for everyone!
Country Music Hall of Fame
It is one of the most well done museums we’ve visited. The history of Country Music right up to current acts are on display. You’ll even learn that Nashville wasn’t the first choice for the Country Music Capital – Bakersfield California was almost chosen. Buck Owens and Merle Haggard are the two most successful artists of the Bakersfield era of Country Music.
When viewed from the air, the building forms a massive bass clef. The building’s front windows resemble piano keys. The Rotunda houses the Hall of Fame member’s plaques. The exterior of this cylindrical structure can be viewed variously as a drum kit, a rural water tower, or grain silo. The four disc tiers of the Rotunda’s roof evoke the evolution of recording technology—the 78, the vinyl LP, the 45, and the CD. Stone bars on the Rotunda’s outside wall symbolize the notes of the Carter Family’s classic song “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” while the title of the song rings the interior of the structure.
Johnny Cash Museum
And no trip to Nashville is complete without visiting the Johnny Cash Museum. It is ranked the Number 1 music museum in the world by Forbes magazine and National Geographic Traveler.
And there is so much more to see and do in Nashville! You have to visit for yourself!