After finding the fantastic Nashville-area Seven Points Campground, we unhitched and headed to town!
We had a pretty big list of places we wanted to see in 3 days — and we didn’t get to all of them, but we packed a lot in. The Parthenon, for example, was a drive-by. The Country Music Hall of Fame was awesome. We love music tours: Graceland, Experience Music Project, Sun Studios — love them, so this was super. It’s a new facility with excellent exhibits for all ages. My favorite section involved standing in a tiny closet-like room while they played an original recording of certain records. Oh, and the cars (please read about Webb Pierce’s car in this NYTimes article).
We also took the RCA Studio B tour. If you really like country music, this might be fun for you — we enjoyed it –there isn’t too much to see, but our tour guide was awesome and we learned some really funny things like the time Dolly Parton crashed her car into the building, and tidbits about Elvis recording there.
No trip to Nashville would be complete without a show at The Grand Ole Opry. Obviously I knew of the Opry, but not really that much about it’s history, so this was going to be fun. Plus, one of Deke’s favorite acts, The Old Crow Medicine Show, was playing that night. There were a few other great musicians on the bill too like The Secret Sisters and Bobby Osborne.
I didn’t realize that the Opry was a bit outside of downtown Nashville, in an area that used to include Opryland (which has been replaced by a shopping mall). Bonus: They serve beer and food that you can take to your seats!
Our next day in Nashville was filled with non-country music related things: Third Man Records and Hatch Show Print. We’re pretty big Jack White fans (I still think my best concert experience ever was The Dead Weather at The Vic in Chicago), so visiting his store/studio office was awesome. You can get records, take photos in the photo booth, watch videos — all in this weird little space where the counter girls are dressed in vintage mod dresses.
Our last fun stop was the Hatch Show Print.
I’ve been familiar with Hatch for a bit — we had some of their work at at museum I worked at and I’ve always thought it was an awesome organization; historical, fun, educational, creative. Hatch has been printing posters for over 100 years — staying in business because they’ve grown with the times, but have always stayed true to their roots of letterpress and design-based handbills and posters. It was a treat getting a tour of the place, learning about their role in the history of Nashville media and in music. Plus you get to print your own little image to take home!
Hatch Show Print was recently bought by the same foundation that runs the Country Music Hall of Fame, so it’s in the same buiding! Oh, and they have a print of an Airstream.