Did you know that the name Music City did not originate with the Grand Ole Opry or with the record companies along Music Row or with the fact that Ear to the Ground is based here in Nashville? I know right! It actually came about when Queen Victoria heard the Fisk Jubilee Singers perform. I know right!
I have to say, being a music fan in Music City is an interesting endeavor. Historically, when people hear Nashville, they think first about the slick, country music coming out of the high-end studios on Music Row or maybe the good-natured Hee-Haw folks or else the Grand Ole Opry. And yes, all of those things are part of Nashville – a big part. Nashville, though, has always had more to offer musically speaking. Lately, the other side of Nashville music has gotten some high-profile faces. With Jack White and the Black Keys relocating to our fine city.
In years past, artists as diverse as Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan have lived and/or recorded here.
I grew up musically on Nashville Rock in the 80s. (There is a site for that!) It was a thriving and diverse scene, and perhaps like many other local scenes of the day, seemed perpetually on the verge of breaking big. The legacy of that scene lived on with a number of artists from that time making a living as staff songwriters and/or still slugging away – doing their thing.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve tragically and sadly lost a number of local musicians from my youth/young adult years. Paul Kirby (Walk the West, Cactus Brothers), Perry Baggs (Jason and the Scorchers), Michael Godsey (Raging Fire), Tim Krekel (The Sluggers) among them.
So, yeah, Nashville has been, can be, and is a great city for music. It can also be difficult and political and cynical and over-produced and all of that. Still for all the crap, Nashville is a great place to be a music lover and a music blogger.
I put together a playlist of artists who have (at least at some point) called Nashville home. I came up with 100 songs (limit one per artist) and probably missed a few, and it’s an amazingly diverse group of amazing bands, artists and songs…. here we go…
First up is one of my all-time favorite songs. I can’t listen to Jason and the Scorchers classic Broken Whiskey Glass without picturing the acrobatic leap from the drum riser on a later summer night on West End Avenue in 1985. (To be honest, I’ve reenacted that leap myself on a number of occasions when listening to the song when no one else was around). Broken Whiskey Glass was released on the band’s full-length debut, Lost and Found.