Welcome to Nashville, Tennessee
"Music City USA"
Country Music Capital of the World
Nashville is an incredible place even though it is commonly known for its country music scene and southern charm and hospitality; Nashville likes to boasts in an array of famous landmarks, incredible eateries, attractions and music venues. The city is located on the banks of the Cumberland River in the north-central part of Tennessee, commonly known as "Middle Tennessee". Nashville and the surrounding areas was originally home to the people of the Mississippian culture; later on the Native American tribes like the Cherokee, Chickasaw and Shawnee moved into the area. In 1714, a group of French traders founded a settlement including a trading post, located in present-day downtown Nashville, named it French Lick, and these settlers successfully traded furs with the Native Americans, however, by the 1740s the settlement was completely abandoned. What we now as Nashville today; was originally a settlement, founded on Christmas Eve in 1779 by James Robertson and John Donelson, called Fort Nashborough (named after a general, Francis Nash, who served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War) then in 1784 its name was changed and you guest it: Nashville. With Nashville's strategic location as a port on the Cumberland River, it also became a major railroad center for the south. In 1843, Nashville became the capital of the State of Tennessee.
Prior to the American Civil War, Nashville ranked as one of the riches and wealthiest capitals in the south because it was the leader in iron production as well as becoming the center for housing numerous plantations that grew and cultivated tobacco and hemp, also, leading the way for breeding and training thoroughbred horses. During the American Civil War, Nashville's strategic location as a shipping port and railroad center made it a prime target for the Union Army. If you had control of Nashville , you had control of the area's river and railroad transportation routes. That is why in 1862, Nashville became the first Confederate state capital to fall into the hands of the Union Army. Tennessee was than on occupied by the Union Army for the remainder of the war. The Battle of Nashville sealed the fate of the Confederacy and gave the Union Army a major victory. Following the American Civil War, somewhere around the 1870s, Nashville had economically recovered from war and rose to prosperity in the later half of the 19th century with the help of the Cumberland River which was used for shipping, trading and manufacturing. The wealthy people of Nashville went on to build majestic, neo-classical-style buildings which includes the most famous one, a reproduction of the Greek Parthenon in Centennial Park, this gave Nashville the nickname "Athens of the South".
Nissin Stadium was built after the Houston Oilers, a National Football League (NFL) team, agreed to move to Nashville in 1995 . The Oilers debuted at Vanderbilt Stadium in 1998 and in the summer of 1999 Nissin Stadium was opened. The Oilers finished their season out with a Music City Miracle and a close Super Bowl after changing their name to Tennessee Titans. Nissin Stadium became home to the Tennessee Titans from then on. Nissin Stadium hosts country music concerts during the summer months. CMA Fest, a country music festival, headlines some of the biggest acts in country music at Nissin Stadium throughout the Fest's week in June.
The Bridgestone Arena is a sporting area used for events and concerts, and is home to the NHL's Nashville Predators since 1998. Nashville was considered for the an upcoming expansion. Bridgestone Area sought to bring the NBA's Sacramento Kings to Nashville. However, that did not materialize so they went after a hockey team instead. NHL granted a request of a franchise expansion to Craig Leipold. The logo of the new franchise , a saber-toothed cat, was unveiled at a press conference in 1997. Fans had the opportunity to submit a name for the new franchise. "Predators" was selected and the franchise, "Nashville Predators." was founded. The team went on to play their first season the following year 1998.
The First Horizon Park is home to the Nashville Sounds a Minor League Baseball team based in Nashville. The First Horizon Park opened in 2015 sits on the historical site of the Sulphur Dell ballpark. Nashville Sounds are named after the city's connection with the music industry. They played at the Herschel Greer Stadium previously from its opening in 1978 to the end of the season in 2014. The Nashville Sounds are the oldest active running professional sports franchise in Nashville.
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Attractions & Tours
Music Row, a historical district within a few blocks southwest of downtown Nashville. Music Row is home to Country Music, Gospel Music, and Contemporary Christian Music. There are numerous businesses in this area; offices of numerous recording labels and studios, music licensing firms, video production and publishing houses include several other businesses which serves the music industry including radio networks and radio stations including. In November of 1925, the National Life & Accident Insurance Company debuted Nashville's first ever radio station on the fifth-floor Studio A. The company's motto "We Shield Millions" was abbreviated WSM and used as the call letters of the radio station. Grand Ole Opry was originally founded as WSM Barn Dance, and its pilot broadcast was aired on the 28th of November. The show became so popular that the studio could not accommodate all the massive amounts of fans that were flocking to the studio to see the show's live performance. The show was then moved to the Hillsboro Theater to accommodate more fans, however, even that was not big enough. The Grand Ole Opry relocated two other times: once to the Dixie Tabernacle and then to the War Memorial Auditorium. A decision was made to charge the fans a 25-cent admission fee in hopes it will curb the influx of fans, but it failed; they kept on coming to see the show. The average number of attendees was $3,000 or more, so a move to a larger venue was necessary. Hello, Ryman Auditorium!
Grand Ole Opry
"There is such a cool vibe in Nashville. It has the excitement of a big city, but also has this amazing small town feel. I have definitely come to call it my home, and have my favorite go-to spots, but most of all it's the people, the southern charm and hospitality, and some great shopping never hurts. As fun as Music City is during the day, the real magic happens at night ... the lights, the energy, the music, how could you not love this town?"
In 1892, the Ryman Auditorium was built. By June of 1943, the Grand Old Opry relocation to the Ryman Auditorium, The Church of Country Music, made room for the show to hold its massive fan base, and became the famous home of the Grand Ole Opry. The Ryman Auditorium held a seating capacity of 2,262 along with its perfect acoustics. The Grand Ole Opry played at the Ryman Auditorium until 1974 when it relocated to its current $15 million theater making it the largest broadcasting studio in the world, featuring a seating capacity of 4,400. Through the Grand Ole Opry, WSM established a musical family that inspired one of its former WSM personalities, David Cobb, to designate Nashville: Music City, USA! The Grand Ole Opry over the years went on to feature some of the well known Country and Contemporary Christian Music artists of the past and present such as Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Chris Tomlin, Point of Grace, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, etc. The Grand Ole Opry is aired weekly and is the longest running radio broadcast in America.
What was the original name of the Grand Ole Opry?
The WSM Barn Dance
What was the longest home of the Grand Old Opry?
The Ryman Auditorium
Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum has become known as the "Smithsonian of Country Music". The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum is one of the world's largest museums and research centers which has been dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of America's conversational music, and covers 350,000 square feet of prime real estate in downtown Nashville right off Broadway. It was established in 1964 and hold one of the world's most extensive musical collections. The Museum is packed with several thousand artifacts including two performance theaters as well as countless rotating special exhibits that are constantly changing. The Museum has a permanent set of exhibits called Sing Me Back Home which takes visitors on a journey through the evolution of country music from its humble beginnings in the nineteenth century to today's biggest superstars.
One of America's oldest working letterpress print shop, Hatch Show Print, is located inside the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. It gives visitors a chance to view and educate themselves on the operations and history of the letterpress. They offer visitors tours with hands-on experience and educational materials. The Hatch Show Print since 1879 played a significant role in helping to shape Country Music's visual language that we have today. Hatch Show Print became the main leader in advertising for the music industry back in the day and continues the handmade tradition even today for hundreds of artists, performers, and businesses annually.
Nashville's Historic RCA Studio B, built in 1957, is located on Music Row in Nashville. This studio has become the birthplace for the "Nashville Sound" a style of music which is characterized by background vocals and string instruments that had a hand in validating Nashville as an international recording center. The Historic RCA Studio B offers tours that will take visitors on a journey back in time to the moments where history was made. The visitors will have the experience to stand in the spot where many of the legends once stood like Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, and others recoding hits, and they will hear stories and songs that where born here in this historic monumental studio.
Country Music Museum & Hall of Fame
& Nashville's RCA Studio B
If you don't leave the past in the past, it will destroy your future. Look what's in front of you, not what yesterday took away.
The Best is Yet to Come.
National Museum of African American Music
The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) is committed to preserving and celebrating music genres which was created, inspired, and influenced by African Americans. The NMAAM's collections are expertly-curated; they share stories of the American soundtrack by bringing together the history and interactive technology in order to bring the musical heroes of the past into the present. Tennessee's diverse culture has opened the doors for the music museums and institutions to become nationally recognized for its success. The NMAAM built itself on the successes of such museums and institutions including the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, Graceland, The Grand Ole Opry, The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, The Bessie Smith Museum, and several others. The NMAAM's interactive galleries fill the rooms with the American soundtrack, emphasizing Nashville's significant influence, and sharing how African American music inspires many worldwide.
Stop by the Johnny Cash Museum for a visit to unravel the mystery behind The Man in Black. Here at the Johnny Cash Museum; you will discover the world's largest Johnny Cash collection comprised of artifacts and memorabilia including films, handwritten notes and letters penned by Johnny Cash himself as well as clothing that he made famous during his music career. The museum's exhibits shines light on the different periods of Cash's life from the years serving in the US Air Force and marriage to June Cash to his famous prison tour. Since the museum has received an official endorsement be the Cash family, chances are you will run across other personal remembrance not available to view by the public anywhere else. An example of such remembrance is a stone wall that was excavated from Johnny and June's Lake House which was located in Hendersonville that was restored into one of the exhibits. The wealth of information is just one of the many reasons why the Johnny Cash fans love the museum.
Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum
"To be recognized by this institution is the greatest honor a musician can have."
The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum is a premiere Nashville attraction and is known worldwide as being the one and only attraction that honors talented musicians from stars to studio players to songwriters from all genres of music. Historic artifacts comprised of instruments used in the original recordings of Hank Williams, Sr., Red Hot Chili Peppers, Frank Sinatra, George Harrison, The Supremes, Elvis Presley, Chicago, Bob Dylan, and more; loads of memorabilia to exhibit. Check out the original stage where a young Jimi Hendrix once played. Located inside the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum is the GRAMMY Museum Gallery included with your admissions ticket. Visitors will get the whole immersive experience such as what it would be like to sing backup for Ray Charles, mix your own music in an actual sound booth, play the guitar, drums, or piano, see for yourself what exactly goes on behind the scenes in a recording studio, and take on the experience of songwriting, engineering, and producing process that entails when an artist is cutting an album. This immersive experience in the Gallery is loads of fun for the whole family.
Taste of the Old South
General Jackson Showboat
The General Jackson Showboat is one of the largest showboats ever built. Launched on the Cumberland River in 1985; The General Jackson Showboat is a symbol of elegant triumph of America's ingenuity. The showboat was designed with elegant array of America's Victorian Age. The General Jackson Showboat was named after the first steamboat that graced the Cumberland River's waters in 1817. That steamboat was named after President Andrew Jackson whose historic home is located in The Hermitage only 15 minutes from its dock. The General Jackson Showboat is Nashville most unique attraction paying tribute to the grace and grandeur of the Old South. Guests can enjoy the beauty of Nashville skyline while "rollin' down the river." The guests are treated to a delicious meal cooked to perfection by its chefs and a musical performance in its two-story Victorian theater, also, the guests can immerse themselves in the stunning views of Nashville's skyline and the surrounding areas.
In 1807, the Belle Meade Plantation began. A Virginian by the name of John Harding purchase Dunham's log cabin along with 250 acres which sat on the Natchez Trace. Over the following 100 years. the Harding Family prospered, growing their land into a 5,400-acre plantation that became known worldwide as a thoroughbred horse farm. The Harding Family in the early years boarded horses for neighbors including Andrew Jackson, and breaded thoroughbreds by the 1816. The Harding Family supplies Charleston and New Orleans with grain, and owned large portion of land in Arkansas and Louisiana. The son of John Harding, William Giles Harding, in 1853 finished the mansion by doubling its size in addition to adding its front porch and columns which consist of solid limestone. The Belle Meade Plantation's architecture is a stunning example of the grandeur of the Old South with its Greek Revival Ante-Bellem style. The Belle Meade Plantation played a pivotal role in the American Civil War as well as the Battle of Nashville. The Harding Family was very wealthy and advocated for the succession from the Union; they also donated $500,000 to the Southern Cause.
Belle Meade Plantation
Following the end of the Civil War, William Harding turned over control of Belle Meade Plantation to his son-in-law, William Jackson. Under Jackson's control Belle Meade became once again internationally well-known as a Thoroughbred farm and showplace. The plantation sold breeding stock such as Alderney cattle, Cashmere goats, Cotswold sheep, and ponies; it also featured a 600-acre deer park. In 1904, the Belle Meade went up for sale and was labeled the oldest thoroughbred farm in the United States. The Belle Meade Mansion in 1953 along with its 30 acres and its eight outbuildings were deeded to the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities. Today, the Belle Meade Plantation is managed by the Nashville chapter of the Association. It is, also, one of Nashville's most popular attraction.