Jun 6, 2012

Day 1: Nashville Tennessee Country Music Fanfare 2012

My buddy (Skylar), and I are in Nashville Tennessee for the next week for 2012 Country Music Fanfare and the CMT awards.  We flew in today in what could only be described as uneventful until we hit Kansas City and boarded the plane for Tennessee.  We sat next to a nice looking man from Tennessee who I will call David because, well, that's his name.  Turns out David is hysterical.  He's my kind of funny.  He's adorably adorable.  When the stewardess stopped by to ask if he needed anything his response was "I'm gonna NEED a strong drink."  I liked him immediately after that. We all chatted and laughed and when we parted ways I felt like I'd just partaken in something special and his wisdom remains tumbling around in the back of my mind.  I'll let your minds wander.

After wasting almost 50 bucks on a cab ride to our hotel, I immediately called to rent a car for the next day and marveled at how freaking smart it would have been to do so at the airport.  Things didn't seem that far away on Google maps.   We changed clothes, called another cab, and spent another 45 bucks, and eventually arrived at the Grand Ole Opry.

The coveted 6 ft circle at the Opry
The  Grand Ole Opry has been around since the 1920's and is one of the longest running radio shows.  It is a piece of country music history...the place that young stars dream of someday playing.

Now, I'm gonna lay this out and I mean no disrespect to the Opry.  It's a country music landmark.  A legend as much as any place could ever be.  I'd give my small toe to be on the stage and have anyone in the audience listen to me simply say hello..and I wouldn't care if the audience was just a single janitor.  But, it's not what I expected.  It's actually an awesome venue that is...wait for it...right next to a Regal Cinemas.  Yep, I said it.  What a let down.  The Opry hotel is nearby but within eye shot of the Opry is what appears to be a mini mall that utilizes the same parking lot.  So, the atmosphere is more casual than I anticipated; more shorts and flip flops than nice shoes and respectable clothing.

Easton Corbin:  he's the reason I wanna be a cougar.
Once you get inside, however, and the band strikes up, something takes you back in time to your younger years...when ma and pa would put on the records (for you youngsters, those are vinyl things that you put on a turntable and they go round and round while a needle rides in the grooves and plays music!  it's a miracle!  or it was back in the day) and you'd sit for hours listening until you knew the words by heart.  I recall listening to Merle belt out "Okie from Muskogee" and singing along with my hairbrush as a microphone.  Those were the days when things were simple, life was easy, when a handshake was a promise, when we were still young enough to dream big, and when the most confusing part of your day was wondering whether you could scrape up enough money for a Big Gulp.

But, we all grow up.  Our music tastes change, our dreams change and Merle is replaced by someone with a little less twang and a whole lot more attitude.

Love & Theft
But the Opry...it hasn't changed.  Well, it has..it's been moved a few times, expanded, flooded, as well as washed and rinsed.  But the circle where the artists stand is from the original flooring and what happens there remains the same.  Hall of famers show up for their 15 minutes of fame just like the new kids do.  The legends come and share their stories, jokes and knowledge, and the young ones gush about how much of an honor it is to be there.  And it's true. Even in the audience, it's true.  It's an honor and a privilege to be taken back in time, to remember where we came from and who were were.  Even if its only for a couple hours that you get to sing into your iPhone and remember the glory days when things were simple and happiness was just a song away.

Tonight we saw the Oakridge Boys, Carrie Underwood, Little Jimmy Dickins (the oldest living member of the Opry and one funny man!), Easton Corbin, Del McCoury Band, Love and Theft, and Bill Anderson.


Skylar before the show at the Opry...beer, bbq and music...good times!!!!



2 comments:

  1. Ooooh that sounds like fun.

    My boss just back from Nashville last night. He was at a conference and stayed at the Gaylord. He too went to the Opry and said he had a good time. He failed to mention all of the commercial venues nearby.

    It sounds like you had a great flight down too. Good company and a good sense of humor. That always makes things better.

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