Travel: Nashville, Tennessee: Hand Me My Stetson, Boy

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), August 23, 2003 | Go to article overview

Travel: Nashville, Tennessee: Hand Me My Stetson, Boy


Byline: Jeff Magill

JEFF MAGILL was the least likely Country fan in the world: until he visited the holy grail

IN my list of top 10 places to visit before I ring the bell at the pearly gates, Nashville has bever had a mention.

In truth, it may have made it into the top 100, but only just.

I associated country music with the first and only time I wore cowboy boots. Aged 13, I hobbled through the bustle of Ballyclare May Fair and realised, to my horror, when I slid - and landed in - horse manure, that the said boots had no grips on their soles. I was scarred for life.

So, to me, country music was crap, cowboy boots landed you in crap and Nashville, where the two go hand-in-hand, must therefore be one big, smelly, steaming pile of ... well, you get the idea.

Nevertheless, when I got the chance to spend a few days in the place they call Music City, and realised that this meant a few days off work, my negative opinions mysteriously vanished.

Before I knew it I was on the plane, hoping I could find something to enjoy in a place where Shania Twain was considered cool.

As it happened, I needn't have worried: my three days there were enough to prove that you don't have to like songs about losing your spouse, house and inbred pet dog to enjoy the Nashville experience. Cowboy boots, it turned out, were optional, and I opted for a pair of trainers.

Driving into Nashville, the first thing that strikes you is the mixture of old and new: impressive skycrapers sit next to historic buildings such as the Ryman Auditorium, the old General Jackson showboat sails down the Cumberland River past the new 60,000-seat Nashville Coliseum, home to the Tennessee Titans football team, and multi-million dollar buildings like the Gaylord Entertainment Centre and the Country Music Hall Of Fame and Museum are a stone's throw away from the comparatively tatty downtown area, all of which suggested that Nashville is a place that is proud of its past, yet keen to move into the future.

But regardless of age, these buildings all have one thing on common - music.

The Ryman Auditorium, originally built in 1872 by Thomas Ryman for religious revivals, is one of Nashville's most famous music haunts, having once housed the Grand Ole Opry for 30 years. The Gaylord Entertainment Centre, meanwhile, plays host to the big names like Garth Brooks and Faith Hill, and the Coliseum, as well as being a sports arena, is used for the city's big music festivals, such as the annual Fan Fair, the largest country music festival in the world.

My first day in Music City was the last day of this year's Fan Fair, and it was clear that the people of Nashville like their country music. During the day, there was a sea of bobbing stetsons at the Riverfront as hundreds gathered in the sunshine to watch their favourite acts perform on a specially constructed stage. Then, as night fell like a purple silk cloak on the city's skyline, thousands headed to the Coliseum to watch Wynnona Judd, among others, perform at the festival's finale.

But for most visitors, the place to go for music is the Grand Ole Opry. I say 'most visitors' because I wasn't one of them.

While I had started to enjoy being in the home of country music, I was fearful that listening to it for more than two hours non-stop would have me heading straight to the airport with foam in my mouth.

The Grand Ole Opry is now based in the ridiculously big Opryland complex, in the Music Valley area of the city. The complex boasts more than 3,000 hotel rooms, convention centres, shops, bars, a mini-rainforest, waterfall and a small river which boats sail down.

It's basically a small country with a roof and, for me, was one of Nashville's less pleasant features - the land that taste forgot.

Beside Opryland is the mammoth Opry Mills mall, which is roughly twice the size of Belfast city centre and has everything from clothes, CDs and Gibson guitars to amusements, restaurants and a cinema. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Travel: Nashville, Tennessee: Hand Me My Stetson, Boy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.