Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 10 miles throughout the day, approximately 1.5 hours riding time plus stops. Walking about 1 mile throughout the day, standing up to 1 hour at a time in museums; some inclines.
At the hotel.
We will board a motorcoach with a local expert for a field trip to Studio B, originally RCA Studios, home of thousands of hits that helped to define the “Nashville sound.” Chet Atkins was one of the originators and Elvis mastered more than 200 songs here. An expert will tell us about many of the quirks and idiosyncrasies of this unique space where so much musical history has been created using the pianos, mics, and accessories we will see. We’ll also have an opportunity to sit back and listen to recordings by our favorite artists in Studio B. We will continue our morning with an introductory driving field trip through the heart of downtown Nashville. A local expert will provide enlightening and entertaining commentary as we ride, learning about colorful history, and seeing distinctive architecture. Highlights we will see include historic Ryman Auditorium, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Honky Tonk Row, the original Ernest Tubb Record Shop, the Tennessee state capitol building, and more. As we drive through Music Row, we’ll hear about aspects of the recording industry from songwriting to record producers, famous recording studios, and the performance rights organizations ASCAP & BMI that monitor airplay of songs all over the world so the songwriters get paid. We’ll also learn about Tennessee’s rich history with a drive through Centennial Mall Park to see the world’s only exact-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. Nashville’s Parthenon dates from 1897. We’ll conclude our drive at the Country Music Hall of Fame (CMHOF).
Boxed lunch at the Hall of Fame.
Next, we’ll have individual audio devices for a self-directed exploration of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, a non-profit educational organization that includes the Taylor Swift Education Center as well as permanent and rotating special exhibitions. There are stage costumes, instruments, photographs, and many artifacts highlighting the history of country music and musicians. Since 1961, the Country Music Association (CMA) has recognized performing artists and others who have made significant contributions to country music throughout their careers. The first inductees were Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose, and Hank Williams. There are now more than 100 who have been recognized with country music’s highest honor, each commemorated with a bronze plaque in the Hall of Fame Rotunda that includes Thomas Hart Benton’s iconic painting “The Sources of Country Music” — his final work. We can stay as long as we like and not be rushed. The hotel is right across the street.
Dinner is on your own tonight. Your group leader will provide suggestions.
At leisure. You may wish to walk back to the hotel with the group or stick around to enjoy more of Nashville’s nightlife.