Nashville, TN – Music of All Things
Many movies have been made about Nashville. Enough books have been written about Music City to fill a bookshelf. And of course, song scores are dedicated to the city of music. But while music is the soul of Nashville, visitors will also find here a city of culture and history, fine dining, professional sports, outstanding academics, natural beauty, and pure southern charm.
Nashville is a place where the past and the future peacefully coexist and build, one on top of the other, to create a destination that appeals to the interests of every visitor. This city is alive. You can feel its pulse when you walk on its sidewalks. And luckily, you can also listen to it almost anywhere you go.
How Nashville Became Music City:
From its inception, Nashville grew from a foundation built on music. Music has always been the common thread that connects the life and soul of the city and its people. And visitors have always ventured here to experience the music that weaves such a fundamental pattern into its cultural, business and social fabric.
Nashville’s first settlers celebrated in the late 1700s with violin tunes and deer dancing after safely landing on the banks of the Cumberland River, a place now commemorated on First Avenue North with a replica of the original Fort Nashborough. Nashville’s first “celebrity,” prominent frontiersman and Congressman Davy Crockett was known everywhere for his colorful stories and his playing the violin.
As the 19th century unfolded, Nashville grew to become a national center for music publishing. The first round-the-world tour of a musical act was by Fisk Jubilee Singers of Fisk University in Nashville. His efforts helped fund the school’s mission to educate freed slaves after the Civil War, and also put Nashville on the map as a world center for music.
In 1897, a group of Confederate veterans chose Nashville as the site of a mass gathering. The event was held in the old tabernacle that would later become known as the Ryman Auditorium. So many former Confederate soldiers came to the city that a new balcony was built inside the tabernacle to accommodate their large numbers. It was nicknamed “The Confederate Gallery”, a designation still visible today, as the Ryman continues to host a variety of musical events.
Even before the Ryman became known as the downtown home of the Grand Ole Opry, it had a national reputation. Enrico Caruso, John Phillip Sousa and the Vienna Orchestra gave impressive performances there that earned Ryman the nickname “Carnegie Hall of the South.” The Ryman’s unmatched acoustic qualities continue today – it has received the prestigious “Theater of the Year” award from Pollstar magazine for two years in a row as the best auditorium in the country to experience live music.
In 1925, the establishment of the WSM radio station and the launch of the broadcast to be called the Grand Ole Opry further secured Nashville’s reputation as a music hub and sparked its enduring nickname of Music City. The Opry, which still runs live every week, is America’s oldest radio show, in continuous production for 80 years. It ignited the careers of hundreds of country stars and lit the fuse for Nashville to explode into a geographic hub of touring and recording. The modern empire of Music Row, a collection of recording studios, record labels, entertainment offices, and other music-related businesses, populates the area around 16th and 17th avenues south.
In recent years, cable television broadcast the stars and music of Music City to the world. Nashville Network, CMT and GAC brought country music to a new level of acclaim and recognition. The gospel music series hosted by Nashville’s Bobby Jones on Black Entertainment Television is now the longest running cable show.
Nashville has also become a center for pop, rock, bluegrass, jazz, classical, contemporary Christian, blues and soul music. Artists like Matchbox Twenty, India Arie, Bon Jovi, and Jewel, among many others, have come to Music City to write and record, and names like Michael McDonald and Donna Summer have chosen to call Nashville home.
The newly constructed Schermerhorn Symphony Center, home to the renowned Grammy Award-winning Nashville Symphony, anchors the downtown end of the newly designated Music Mile, a symbolic stretch of highway connecting the $ 120 million Symphony Center to the district of music from Music Row, the vibrant new entertainment venues on Demonbruen Street, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Music City Walk of Fame and the Nashville Arena and Museum. The Music Mile perfectly illustrates how Music City’s music is, in fact, a common thread across all of Nashville’s commercial, cultural and entertainment sectors.
Nashville’s connection to music is unmatched and its reputation as a City of Music has been steadily proven for more than 200 years. Welcome to the most musical city in the world. City of Music: the only City of Music!