For those who have already been to the cradle of country music, it’s probably obvious why we say that visiting Nashville is a must. But if the roads never took you there, then its quite possible that you are wondering what is so special about this city.
What you need to understand no matter if you are a fan of this type of music or not is that Nashville is the most known country music city worldwide. There isn’t a single music enthusiast in the world who hasn’t heard about Nashville country music.
What Is Country Music
A true music fan knows everything about country music, but let’s talk a bit about what is country music for those who doubt they fully grasp this genre. First of all, maybe it is important to say that it is very difficult to be indifferent towards this kind of music. You are either enthusiastic about it or not; there is no middle. It can also be called hillbilly music, which originated in the south of the USA. The best way to describe it is to say that it is a combination of American folk and blues, and you can easily recognize it by the presence of banjo.
It gained popularity, especially in the 40s all over the United States, and Nashville became its center. The biggest names of this genre are American country music singers like Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Alan Jackson, Kenny Rogers, Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and many others. Our younger readers can recognize Taylor Swift as one of the most known contemporary country music singers.
The History of Nashville
It all started in the late 1700s, throughout the 1800s when at the end of the 19th century this Ryman Auditorium was opened. The latter was considered the biggest auditorium in the south of the USA. Known at the beginning as Union Gospel Tabernacle, this auditorium was for gospel country music songs. Starting from the mid-20s of the 20th century, this place became something like a temple of country music. In 1943, a woman named Lula Naff brought Grand Ole Opry, the longest-running American radio show into Ryman and it was going on every weekend until 1974. Over the next years, all significant performers sang there, like Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, later Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and many others. An interesting trifle about King is that he did it only at the beginning of his career and was told that it would be better off driving a truck.
In the 50s, Nashville had to find a way not only to compete with rock’n’roll but also to maintain the spirit of country music. Nowadays, it is not just the place where you go to hear country music love songs but has a large community of people involved in different genres.
Besides Tennessee, Nevada is also an attractive state not only for passionate gamblers but for country music lovers as well. If you are one, then you will certainly enjoy country music Las Vegas.
Nashville is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S and gentrification is visibly taking its toll. Nonetheless, it is still the center of music. Once you are in Nashville, you feel surrounded by the energy and passion of all those legendary musicians who performed there. Not only that the country music is still thriving, but there are other genres like rock, indie, and some others developing and catching people’s attention.
Places to Visit in Nashville
As you can imagine, there are numerous exciting places to visit in a city with such an amazing history of country music. The first thing you need to visit is historical sites like Country Music Hall of Fame, and Studio B where the King recorded Are You Lonesome Tonight. Furthermore, while you are there, you absolutely cannot miss the Johnny Cash museum. We recommend you to get a souvenir from a fantastic gift shop in case you have friends who are passionate about country music. They will surely appreciate it.
To be clear, the list of places that are worth visiting is huge, and we named here only a few. It is important also to say that there are many must-see places once you get there that is not related to music, like for example Arrington Vineyards. You can try different types of delicious wine there, and it is located only 25 minutes south of Nashville.
Food in Nashville
All those who come to Nashville for fantastic music, also know that it is a city of delicious southern cuisine. And your stomach needs good care as much as your soul, right?
If you find yourself in the City of Music and want to eat like a true southerner, then you have to try hot fried chicken, catfish or very typical meat.
Don’t get the impression that we only care about meat-eaters; we want to point out that you can find plenty of excellent vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Nashville.
In the end, we can only say that Nashville is one of the southern cities that you should visit if you get a chance. It is not just about country music or music in general for that matter. It is a city with a charm that it is difficult to describe. We would be delighted to hear your impressions about Nashville, so feel free to write and share your thoughts with us.
Joshua Sherman is a musician, poet, and blogger. He enjoys listening to country music and exploring places that are famous throughout the history of music.