Friday, July 26, 2013

Road Trip, Nashville, Day Three, Part One

So after tramping around downtown Nashville for five/six hours last Thursday and taking close to a hundred pictures, I needed to decide what was on the agenda for Friday.

As I mentioned Wednesday, my options included the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere and the Belle Meade Plantation right up the road from the hotel, among tons of other options. I mean, there were tons of Civil War markers all over the place and I'm a history buff too.

What I ultimately decided to do was go back downtown and tour the Ryman Auditorium and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. At first I hadn't planned to do either. But something just got in my head or my heart (I think it was my daddy.) and I realized that I couldn't visit Nashville for the very first time and *not* go see these places up close and personal. Even though I'd walked by them and taken pictures of the outsides just the day before. I had to go inside them. And I'm SOOOOO glad I did.

I credit my love of country music to both my parents. To my mom who just always had the radio on, exposing me to it. That's just what we listened to in the years when music becomes an important part of kid's life: junior high and high school. And to my dad who loved music so very much and exposed to me to real records and many different musical genres.

A few highlights of the Ryman:

Real wood. The whole place is made of wood. Some say its acoustics rival Carnegie Hall.

Yep, that's me on the stage!

The view from the Confederate Gallery.

After the Ryman, I headed over to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. But first--I took the Studio B Tour...

Oh my gosh! I'm so so so glad I did. Another wonderful treat. Our tour guide was rather cute, too!

Anyway, Music Row, contrary to my original belief is not in downtown. It's really a pair of residential side streets that look mostly like a regular neighborhood. Except, of course, for all the signs in the front yards.

Young Randy, the tour guide, shared a few anecdotes with the group that I'm going to share with you.

First: The hit song "I Will Always Love You" by Dolly Parton is not your traditional love song. She wrote it for Porter Wagoner as a thank you for the opportunity he gave her to be on his show, which was the launching point of her career. Because she wanted to go out on her own, she was "fired" from his show. As a way to show no hard feelings, she wrote and performed this song for Porter.

Second: Don Gibson wrote his two biggest hits (Oh, Lonesome Me and I Can't Stop Loving You) after his wife up and left him. He continued to send her roses on their anniversary thanking her.

Third: Elvis Presley, who recorded over half his hits in Studio B, was A) responsible for making Studio B famous--he preferred it over Studio A, and B) requested or made arrangements for light fixtures that held four different colored light bulbs. He liked to set the mood while recording songs.

In fact, if you listen closely at the end of an original recording of Are You Lonesome Tonight? you can hear a thud.  To set the mood, the lights ended up being turned completely off and Elvis hit his head on the microphone.

For the rest of my pictures of the Ryman Auditorium and the Studio B Tour, visit my Shutterfly Share page.

And there's still more to come! I hope you'll stay tuned.


Angi Morgan said...

What an awesome trip. Thanks for the anecdotes. I knew the one about Dolly Parton.

Great pictures

Regina Richards said...

Sounds like a great vacation. :)

Unknown said...

Awesome pictures, and I enjoyed the anecdotes--hadn't heard those before!

Jen FitzGerald said...

Thanks for reading, gals. And it was an awesome vacation, Regina!!! Wish I could have had one more day. Or two. Or three!

Chill N said...

What a great story about the thud at the end of Elvis's record. Enjoying the tour -- what a fun pic of you om stage!