The southern states of the United States of America proudly claim ownership of the origins of country music. Drawn from different genres such as folk, Celtic, gospel, and old world music, it reached its peak in the 1920s. It was originally branded as ‘hillbilly’ music, but in the 1940s the word was deemed degrading and the label was used. ‘Country music’. Although younger generations are unfamiliar with this genre of music, its spirit is kept alive by generations that remember it in towns around the world.
Nashville made its mark on the world with its opening to promote country music. In the 1950s, when the essence of country music was mixed with pop music, RCA Records and Columbia Records created The Nashville Sound. They replaced the basic traditional style of violins, steel guitar, and nasal lead vocals with more polished styles from 1950s pop music. Artists such as Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, and Charlie Rich belonged to this style of music. However, that doesn’t mean that the original ‘honky-tonk’ music has completely disappeared. There are many places that still offer live music throughout Nashville.
The Grand Ole Opry has been playing since the 1920s, but the live performance on stage is a MUST see. The Ryman Auditorium had stars like Johnny Wright and Earnest Tubb making their mark. It is called the ‘Mother Church of Country Music’ for its originality and history. You will find an incredible collection of memorabilia in this museum. It’s another pit stop not to be missed as you’ll find Webb Price’s guitar-shaped pool and silver dollar-studded Cadillac. The Hatch Show Print Shop is also owned by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which made artwork for such legends as Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and Johnny Cash.
For the dancer in you, Wildhorse Saloon is highly recommended, offering 66,000 square feet of space to dance, dine, drink, and learn the two steps. Tootsies Orchid Lounge, Woofy’s, The Stage, and Rippy’s give you a chance to experience the true taste of old honky-tonk. Don’t forget it’s the home of country folk music, and dressing up is a waste of time. Put on those jeans and comfy shoes and get ready to dance to country music in Nashville.
To truly experience southern hospitality, you would look to stay at a Nashville hotel that is close to major attractions.