Nashville cats, play clean as country water

Nashville cats, play wild as mountain dew

Nashville cats, been playin’ since they’s babies

Nashville cats, get work before they’re two

–The Lovin’ Spoonfull

The lower end of Broadway Street in Nashville is a lot like Spring Break in Florida. Except that it goes on every day of the year. To the casual observer, Nashville seems to be a town of talented musicians and drunken twenty-somethings. I mean this in a good way.

I have lots to show you from our two-day visit to Music City. Too much for one ‘blog post. Let’s begin with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Mary Anne and I were as much out of our wheelhouse as we would be at, say, the National Hockey Museum. It’s not that we hate country music or anything; we just don’t know much about its history or its stars. But we learned a lot about Country’s rural roots and its transformation into the sometimes glitzy art form it is today.

The tour begins on the top floor where the early days of Country are presented. Here we were introduced to Nuta Kotlyarenko, known professionally as Nudie Cohn. That’s Nudie below with Graham Parsons.

Nudie made a career for himself creating “Nudie Suits.” These are the fabulous over-the-top creations favored by anyone who is anyone in the Country scene. Here are a few…

The upper floor is mostly a series of exhibits about the evolution of country music and of some of the artists from various periods. The wall behind holds a collection of posters created by Hatch Show Print. The printing shop is adjacent to the museum; souvenir posters and tours are available.

Here you can see both the third floor with its “origins of Country” exhibits and the second floor which deals with contemporary Country.

Here are a few of the third-floor exhibits.

Descending to the second floor, we encountered this tasteful ride owned by singer Webb Pierce. The perfect vehicle to get you to your next school shooting.

The upholstery is cool: hand-tooled leather. Note the door handles and saddle and silver dollars on the center console.

The second floor also held historical instruments or ones owned by famous artists.

Who knew that Vox made amps in anything but black?

No prize for guessing that this was Dolly Parton’s dress.

The second floor and foyer hold gold and platinum records awarded to various Country artists.

Two unclassified photos that I couldn’t leave out: Mary Anne with a gigantic guitar and some guy’s top hat.

Finally, the Country Music Hall of Fame. It’s a circular room with the lyrics to the Carter Family’s “May The Circle Be Unbroken” inscribed on the wall.

I’m going to close with these two guys.

Pig Robbins was a great session piano player. You’ll have heard him on “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” among other things.

Jimmie Davis, author of “You Are My Sunshine,” rode his musical fame to the Governorship of Louisana. He also rode his horse into the State Capitol and ruined an expensive marble floor.

It’s tempting to mock the voters of the Pelican State, but viewed through contemporary eyes old Jimmy is looking pretty good. At least he didn’t rape anyone or try to steal a national election.


  1. Nice post Steve, brings back old memories. I think I discovered my first *e……n watching the Porter Wagoner show! 😉 😉

    *didn’t know if I could print “erection” in a family blog

  2. Minnie Pearl!! Yesss!! Loved that VOX speaker color. Getting that color of paint now . . .
    Love, MEB

  3. Thanks so much for the interesting tour, Steve. My son, Michael, is a contemporary country music fan, and so I’ve listened to a lot of it when I’m with him, and I enjoy it. I’d love to visit Nashville because I’m a music fan, and it looks like an interesting place to visit.

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