October 21 – Nashville
Woolworths for breakfast
The cafeteria involved in the civil rights era sit ins was only reopened in January this year, beautifully restored to its Art Deco glory.
The Nashville sit-ins, which lasted from February 13 to May 10, 1960, were part of a nonviolent campaign to end racial segregation at lunch counters in down town Nashville. The campaign was notable for its early success and emphasis on disciplined non violence. It was part of a larger campaign in the South that began in Greensboro. In fact, those involved trained and practiced before hand. The sit in scene from The Butler shows this brilliantly.
We had many recommendations to go to the Country Music Hall of Fame however the museum was closed for the medallion ceremony happening that afternoon which would see new stars inducted into the Hall of Fame. We were able to go into the Print Shop and gift shop as well as do the Studio B tour. We met a couple from Ohio who questioned my anti trump badge and I told them we like to make fun of him in Australia. They said yes, he’s quite embarrassing but the economy is growing, If only he would keep from speaking! Agggghh😩
I’ve had quite a few store assistants admire and appreciate both my trump badge and the rainbow flag ally one. It means something to people to know they are accepted.
The RCA Records Studio B tour was a short bus ride away on Music Row where all the big label recording studios are located.
Historically, this is where many many many many singers recorded their albums, most famously Elvis Presley.
Our guide, Ron, was wonderful! He had anecdote after anecdote and told the stories so engagingly. My two favourites both involved Elvis.
Elvis approached Dolly Parton wanting to record one of her songs. She was over the moon and agreed. However in the few days before the session was due to go ahead, Colonel Parker advised her that part of the deal was to forgo rights to the song 50%. This she could not do (she wrote all of her music, unlike Elvis who wrote none of his) and was reluctant to lose control of it. She was so disappointed.
Many years later another singer approached her wanting to record the song. No demands on rights. The song would remain Dolly’s. That singer was Whitney Houston and the song was “I will always love you”. It went to number one for 14 weeks and earned Dolly a whopping lot of money! She reaped the rewards for sticking to her guns.
Note the lights above the piano. Previously there were just white fluorescent lights until Elvis had these installed so he could create mood when he was recording. He famously recorded ‘Are you Lonesome tonight?’ in darkness. Ron turned off the lights and played some for us.
Ron dimmed the lights and let us hear Elvis the recordings where the piano was used.
Walk of fame
In the park opposite the museum. Plaques dedicated to singers/musicians- not all of whom are country.
We had some great tips from our concierge and another Ex Liquid New Jersey friend, Deborah (whom I met 10 years ago) so we headed out East to explore an area that has undergone some serious gentrification in the last few years. This area is none as 5 points after the spot where 5 roads converge in an intersection.
Shoppes on Featherland, a little village of tiny tiny stores designed for entrepreneurs to start their businesses and hopefully outgrow the space into something bigger around town. They have a lot of cool stuff.
Fanny’s house of music a vintage clothing shop and music instruments store. They have a special mural of women who broke the gender barrier in music, and are the only all female owned music shop in Nashville. Josh has a ball here, tinkering away on the guitars, trying pedals and dreaming about buying the Fender telecaster and bringing it home.
Coffee time at Bongo East which also was the home of Game Point- a cafe with board games. Tables of people drinking coffee and playing all sorts of board games. We pulled up a chair, ordered a latte and Josh taught me how to play Carcasonne. He only just beat me 😉
We were having such a good time that we didnt realise we missed the opening hours of Josh’s number two on the list Nashville chicken joint – Hattie Bs. We also missed out on his number 1 as we didn’t know they were not open on Sunday (like a lot of southern businesses – it’s church time!)
We walked on.
Looked at some more shops and galleries. Josh bought a hat in a little store run by a very friendly fellow who had been there for many years. I tried a dress on and because the last person to try it on had clearly stepped on the hem with heels and ripped some huge wholes in it, he gave it to me for free! Remarkable – he could have just discounted it but he knew he couldn’t sell it if I didn’t want it and he wrote it off. He also confirmed another hit chicken recommendation and advised us to only have the mild – no matter what.
we downloaded an app and hopped on some scooters to head to Bolton’s Hot chicken and fish.
From Bolton’s we grabbed a Lyft to the Wings mural in an area known as The Gulch.
This is where Deborah lives so we messaged her and she popped down to have a drink and a chat. Those Liquid Church connections just endure. Deborah is a wealth of local knowledge and it was so interesting listening to her.
Our last Lyft driver for the night was a basketball fan and he and Josh talked all the way to the hotel.
Packed up once again – heavier this time with records, books and some clothes and candy for Harry and Shyanne.
Josh is like a kid on Christmas Eve – tomorrow he gets to see his beloved Celtics play at home in Boston – and he can’t sleep for the excitement!
Side note – my dress got lots of attention today and I was untucking and demonstrating how to tuck over and over again! Camilla might get some new American customers. 😉