Friday, August 25, 2006

Music City

Over the years, Nashville has been about education, commerce, even insurance. But its best known as Music City, and with good reason: Even at 3:30 in the afternoon, you can catch a half-dozen live performances along Lower Broadway.

Come 6 p.m., the first showcase performance by songwriters kicks in over at the Bluebird Café, in a strip mall in the Green Hills area (where Nicole Kidman and husband Kenny Urban are said to frequent the local Starbucks.)

One of the town's biggest hits is Gruhn Guitar -- one of the reader choices for today. Billy Jackson -- a 48-year-old employee who has been coming to Gruhn since he was 13 -- shows us around the new and vintage collection of violins and of course, guitars, including Stratocasters, Martins and Gibsons. The Gretsch guitar that was owned by Dan Fogelberg is priced at $80,000. Newer -- and cheaper -- guitars are also available.

No visit is complete with a stop at the historic Ryman Auditorium, famed for its accoustics, was the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. It was also a church and showhouse, hosting artists including Enrique Caruso, Sarah Bernhardt, Marian Anderson and Roy Rodgers.

And this being a Friday night, the Grand Ole Opry will kick into gear at 8 p.m.

If I weren't hitting the Grand Ole Opry, I'd go to Frist Friday. Every fourth Friday of the month, the Frist Center for visual arts --located in a spectacular WPA-era post office and named for the philantrophic family of U.S. Sen. Bill Frist ... hosts a community concert. Tonight's guest honors the current Egypt exhibition: Pam Tillis will play her hit, The Queen of Denial.

Here are a few scenes from Music City:


Photos by Jane Wooldridge: Top, on Lower Broadway. Above: Roberts Western Wear doubles as a live music club and beer-and-burger joint; Billy Jackson at Gruhn's Guitars shows off the shop's vintage collection; Lower Broadway signs.


Curryshores1 said...

This is too cool. Hope you're having as much fun doing this as I am reading it!!!

debbie kowalsky said...

Glad to see you enjoyed the sounds and the sights of Nashville. Wasn't the Parthenon awesome? FYI the link to the Ryman isn't working. Also, my home computer won't let me "Vote" but I would like to see what the choices are for the upcoming day. Also glad to see you're visiting friends along the way--it makes the trip so much more special.

Jane said...

Debbie: You home computer probably needs you to download the current version of Flash....Alternatively, you may have turned off "pop-ups'' ... which are required to vote. If you hit the control key on you computer when you go to vote, this may solve it.

Curry, thanks. Keep reading!

srosenblatt said...

If the solutions that Jane mentioned about voting still have not fixed your problem, do one more thing:

Go into your "Internet Options" Internet Explorer that's in the Tools menu along the top bar...and make sure that you have cookies enabled. The web vote service we use requires that cookies are enabled in order for the votes to be submitted successfully.

Hope that is all sorted out.

By the way, if you do not have the current version of Flash, you can get it easily by going to:

As soon as you see the animation on the page, then it is successfully installed. Close your browser completely and then open a new window and come back!

Stephanie Rosenblatt
Flash producer/quasi-tech support