The CMT Awards graciously invited Pandora to attend this year’s ceremony and to tweet from the Purple Carpet as Country’s hottest celebs arrived at the show. While we thoroughly enjoyed being close to the stars, we also took this opportunity to learn more about Nashville, a place referred to by many as “Music City”.
Thousands of aspiring musicians have flocked to Music City over the years with a guitar and a dream hoping to take their place alongside the many greats of American music. Everyone from Dolly Parton to Black Keys, Elvis to Taylor Swift, Waylon Jennings to Jack White have done time in Nashville. The city’s “Music Row” is home to hundreds of record labels, publishing houses and recording studios focusing on gospel, country, pop and more.
One of the great places we visited after the CMT Awards included The Ryman Auditorium, “the mother church of country music”, which sits downtown just up the street from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The Ryman has played host to the Grand Ole Opry, The Johnny Cash Show and a number of other iconic country music programs that included performances by Hank Williams, Minnie Pearl and The Carter Family. Sitting in the pews of the Ryman, you can feel the rich history, which has attracted countless performers and music lovers over the years.
We also visited RCA Studio B, where hundreds of country hits have been recorded since 1957, including over 200 of Elvis’ recordings, many Roy Orbison songs and several Everly Brothers hits. The studio maintains it’s historic look and feel by operating as part of a music education program for several hours a day, where recording engineers can learn their craft.
As part of our tour we learned that Elvis’ 1960 version of “Are You Lonesome Tonight” was recorded at RCA Studio B. The session was late at night and, after a long day of work, Elvis asked to turn off all of the lights for the take. Our tour guide turned off the lights in the studio to give us the same feel and played “Are You Lonesome Tonight.” It was almost eerie hearing Elvis’ smooth and silky tenor in the darkness, a flawless take. We could even hear a musician hit the mic at the end of the song.
Here now, in 2012, tweeting from the Purple Carpet with Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith and Lady Antebellum winning belt buckles from the CMT Awards, we remember that Nashville is a Coat Of Many Colors and that music lives on forever.
-Aaron (Community Manager)