Nashville: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Studio B, & Hatch Show Print
I'm always asked if I moved to Nashville for music. As in, Are you a musician? No. Mostly for the sake of others hearing, I am not.
But definitely one of the things I love about Nashville is it's music. The authenticity of the performances here and the community and support for each other that I've seen is really inspiring.
But to learn more about the history of music in Nashville, the Country Music Hall of Fame is the way to go.
In addition to admission to the Country Music Hall of Fame (CMHF), check out the RCA Studio B tour, and a tour (or at least a visit) of Hatch Show Print.
Because the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is especially a go-to place, I've been about three times. And I discover something a little new each time. So it never gets boring. There really is so much history to country music. My favorite part is actually a compilation video they put together of country music and music stars in television history.
You can only get this tour with a purchase of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum admission. Buses shuttle you from the museum to the studio, and on the way you get some background information about the city and the studio before entering.
When my friend Lisa was visiting, we opted to do this.
The studio itself is sort of a shell of the past. At one point it served as the recording studio for many successful musicians including Elvis Presley, and will still be used today in special circumstances. It also serves today as a classroom for middle and high school students learning the science of sound and technology.
There was something reverent about sitting in a place where songs you've heard before were recorded and to think of how they did it. I didn't recognize until this tour that songs like the ones Elvis did had to be recorded with all the instruments and vocals at one time and with minimal takes. They could cut the recordings and splice them together, but it wasn't like it is today with recording various layers and then adjusting the volume on each to get the desired result.
I really enjoyed this experience. It's not something I'd personally feel the need to do over and over again, but definitely worthwhile learning more about the music history of Nashville and how it affected the world.
When I visited Hatch Show Print three years ago, it was located on Broadway where all the Honky Tonks are — just a couple blocks from the museum.
It has since moved from there to inside the museum. Although I was slightly disappointed because I enjoyed the large windows and entering in from the street, the space on Broadway was really cramped. Now, there's a lot more room to walk around and enjoy a tour.
And just a side-note — the location on Broadway was actually not the original location anyways. So no historical harm done here.
I absolutely love the Hatch Show Print design style and letterpress technique. The shop has been in operation since 1879 producing some of the most recognized musician's posters in history.
The tour was informational — not just about the history of Hatch Show Print but letterpress and their process. They also shared how when they moved from Broadway to the museum, they found that the drawers that held their wood blocking pieces had been up-cycled from previous woodblocks. So they were able to recreate some signs exactly as printed from decades ago.
The last bit of the tour lets you make a pre-designed woodblock yourself by inking the block and putting it through the press. I was slightly sad that we didn't get to build our own unique designs, but I still have my creation hanging in my room.
Even if you don't want to tour the shop, you can still go to the store to see the process and look at the posters for sale. It's really one of my favorite places in Nashville.
I thought I'd include some fun little throwbacks this week from my first tourist trip to Nashville (my first actual trip to Nashville was to tour Vanderbilt and we didn't really explore much else).
From March 2013:
Monday morning we slept in a little bit, got free breakfast at the hotel and then made our way to the Country Music Hall of Fame (CMHF). Somewhere on our flight I think we all lost our brain a little bit because for 1) we seemed to always get the names of things wrong or information in general wrong (so don't believe everything you hear in the videos) and 2) at least on this day, everything seemed to confuse us: the fact that it was Spring Break and it was snowing, we didn't know most of the people they talked about in the CMHF, nor what the symbolism of some of the structures inside of it were, or why the shuttle took forty minutes to pick us up so that we found some cozy space inside a music bar and did a little relay in the gift store next door so that one of us could be outside waiting for the shuttle.
Somehow, we survived. And we were also inspired by the one artist I did know of in the CMHF–Taylor Swift. She did all these little home movies, and put them together for her music videos. I realized that I hadn't done any movies in a long time, and so I decided to apply it to the Nashville experience. The movies became part of some of the greatest memories we had together. So thanks TSwift.
This is the first compilation of said movies. I'm putting it up for reasons beyond my understanding because it's a little ridiculous.