June 9, 2013

Nashville: I’m a little bit country

The mecca for country music fans is the Country Music Hall of Fame. In fact even if you’re not a huge fan of “both types of music: country AND western” you may be surprised at who got their starts in this genre. But a highlight was the additional tour of Studio B, make sure you do both.

Country Music Hall of Fame

This place is huge and about to get 3 stories higher

The building itself is a masterpiece, spread over 3 floors including the Hall of Fame rotunda with brass plates of inductees. Display cases house collections and memorabilia from artists your dad probably knows – or even your granddad – right up until present day (I’m looking at you Keith Urban)

Country Music Hall of Fame

The hall of display cases, music blasting from overhead speakers and retro advertisements line the soaring walls

They only take donations from artists and have a policy not to purchase collections. Elvis drove his car here, all pimped out in gold with a TV in the back and coat hanger for an aerial sticking out of the top. (Well, it may not be a coat hanger, but it sure looks like it). He also has a cumbersome phone back there to speak to his driver.

Elvis Presley car Nashville

Check out Elvis’s TV in the back seat

Webb Pierce car Nashville

This is Webb Pierce’s car with guns mounted on the hood, as door handles and the dashboard studded in silver dollars

Keith Urban is a current legend in Nashville and while I confess to missing the Grand Ole Opry (a bit like when I missed the Cistene Chapel in Rome) you really shouldn’t. Huge live acts perform every night.

But add on a trip to Studio B to the recording studio where Elvis taped half of his entire playlist (about 250 songs) and it’s still in use today for artists who want that old school sound.

Studio B Nashville

Roy Orbison is just one of the icons who recorded here at Studio B

Our guide made the 1 hour tour come alive playing pieces of several hits that were recorded here including Dolly Parton and the man she owes it all to, Porter Wagoner, plus clips from Charlie Pride, Chet Atkins, the Everly Brothers, Jim Reeves.

Dolly Parton Studio B

Dolly with Porter Wagoner who launched her career before she went out on her own and smashed it with “Jolene”

Studio B recording

They still roll out rugs on the tiled floor to record today in Studio B

Steinway at Studio B

Yep that’s me sitting at the original Steinway which is tuned every Friday and could tell a story or two!

Studio B red lights

When Elvis recorded his love songs he liked to change the lighting. He recorded “Are you Lonesome Tonight” here in 2 takes under sexy red lights

If you want to see inside the Johnny Cash Museum, have a look at my photo essay here>>>

Or for my picks on where to stay, eat and listen to live music in Nashville, click here>>>

About Megan Singleton

Megan

Megan Singleton is a travel writer, blogger and radio correspondent. She's been gallivanting around the world telling stories for the last 16 years and has her suitcase always half packed (or half un-packed!) Follow along on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for monthly newsletters if you want to keep up with the journey!

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