Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Nashville - A Closer Look

During our day in Nashville riding the trolley, we actually did have time to look a little closer at a couple of places along the route.

The Tennessee State Museum is a hidden gem right in the heart of downtown Nashville.  If you didn't know exactly where it was, it would be very easy to miss completely. Housed in a nondescript square concrete building, the entrance is down one level from the sidewalk.

Entrance to the museum

As odd as that seemed, once we got into the building, we we actually on the upper level of a three story museum.  That's right, the entire museum is actually underground!

They had a lot of original artifacts, lots to read, dioramas and art.  Below is just a sampling of the things we saw.

KKK flag from the 1930s

Leather fire bucket

Conestoga wagon

Walls and wall of original paintings of anyone and everyone important to Tennessee history.  In fact, I think I read they have the largest art collection in the state.  Some of the paintings date back to the early 1800s.

Before we left, I managed to immobilize Sid for a little bit!

Sid in a stockade

We actually spent a couple of hours going through all three floors and it was an interesting picture of Tennessee from the early days through the 1930s or so.  Definitely worth a visit.

The Country Music Hall of Fame is a must-see for any visit to Music City, USA.  I had been before and didn't think Sid was interested, but at the last minute, he decided he wanted to see it.  So in we went and I'm glad that I got a chance to see it for a second time.

As an aside, when you think of Nashville, what do you think of?  Country music, of course.  But the city's economy is actually based on #1 Healthcare, #2 Finance/Banking and then, #3 Music.  And the moniker Music City?  First called that by the Queen of England in the 1800s and cemented as the official nickname by radio station WSM in 1925.  Just a little of the interesting trivia we learned on our trolley ride!

Anyhow.....back to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

It's been probably 12 years or so since I've visited this museum and while some of the exhibits have stayed the same, I was surprised at the difference a decade made.  Gone are the large displays from some of the older country stars like Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams, Sr.  They have been replaced by the younger generations of country music singers such as  Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum.  I have to say, the outfits on display for these younger stars are not quite as flashy  as what they used to wear in the good old days!
Hank Snow outfit

Still, there were plenty of things to gawk at...

Alan Jackson award.  He actually had an entire room of display items, from the tricycle he rode as a boy to all the various awards he's won.  

There are, apparently, real blue suede shoes that you can't step on!  These were owned by Carl Perkins.

Washboard "instrument" from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

And, yes, Brad Paisley does play a paisley guitar!

Walls and walls of gold and platinum records from every artist under the sun. 

Elvis Presley's solid gold Cadillac, a documentary narrated by Glen Campbell (now suffering from Alzheimer's disease), Hee Haw original costumes, an exhibit of the collaboration between Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash (who knew?) and even a Taylor Swift learning center for children are only a fraction of the interesting things to look at, hear and read about.  Even if you're not a country music fan, this museum is sure to strike a chord because country music has influenced all other genres of music in some way or another.  If I ever get back to Nashville, I will definitely visit this place for a third time!

That pretty much wraps up our time in the city of Nashville.   Hope you'll follow along as we head to the more rural parts of Tennessee to see what there is to see.

Until next time...

No comments: