Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Music City; Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is not just the home of Andrew Jackson, it's also the home of country music. That's a tough subject for me to write about because I'm not a fan and know next to nothing about the "who's who" in that world. Another thing...I'm way behind on this blog and want to catch up. So I'm not going to write much except to illustrate the photos that I took. So here goes:

These photos are taken downtown. This street is lined with "honkey-tonks", the clubs where all the "wanna-be" country music stars play for tips only, hoping to be "discovered."

Also on this street is the Rydell Auditorium. It is a converted church and was the site of the original Grand Ole Opry shows back in the thirties.

Elvis played at the Rydell but wasn't well received, back in the day. His daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, played here a few years ago and wasn't liked much either, according to our tour guide. Maybe too much rock 'n' roll in them for the country music folks. Today, the Grand Ole Opry performances take place every Fri & Sat night at a new auditorium on the outskirts of Nashville. As a sign of the times, the performances are broadcast continually on one of the satellite radio channels, I think it's on Sirius. If we'd stayed through the weekend we could have gone and seen Trisha Yearwood, a name even I recognize.

Speaking of Elvis, look who I found in front of the 2nd Ave. Sun Studio Record Shop! (Sun Studio was Elvis' first label and the studio was actually in Memphis.)

After our walk downtown, Ed & I hopped on board a Grayline trolley for a tour. A few highlights:

This is the Parthenon in Nashville. It is a full scale replica of the original in Greece. It is built of limestone, as opposed to marble, however.

This Parthenon was originally built as part of a Tennessee Exposition. The theme for the fair was "Athens of the South" and this is the only building left from the Expo. Surrounded by formal gardens, the site is now used for civic and cultural events and is popular for weddings.

Our trolley tour passed through the section of town where all the deal-making takes place. Major record labels have their offices and studios here. RCA/Victor is one of the oldest and best-known. I loved the guitar out front. This is one of those photos that can be better appreciated by clicking on it to get a larger view.

Finally, I liked the Tennessee State Capitol building, set high on a bluff overlooking the Cumberland River.

I hated to give Nashville short shrift, but we have to get going to Memphis , Little Rock, Hot Springs...

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