Music City Landmarks, Nashville (Self Guided)

Due to its legendary sites, Nashville is well-known all over the world as Music City, USA. This is a tour guide of the historic places where many music hits were born, including RCA Studio B on Music Row, the Exit/In club, the Sommet Center and many others.
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Music City Landmarks Map

Guide Name: Music City Landmarks
Guide Location: USA » Nashville (See other walking tours in Nashville)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
Author: mary
1
Exit/In

1) Exit/In

Exit/In is a music venue located on Elliston Place near Centennial Park and Vanderbilt University. It opened in 1971 under the management of Owsley Manier and Brugh Reynolds. As a small venue seating 200 or so, it developed its unique reputation in the 1970s because of the unusual things that occurred on an almost nightly basis. The club was expanded in the early 80's to accommodate 500 patrons. The long list of musicians and entertainers that have performed there include The Police, Talking Heads, The Black Crowes, R.E.M., The B-52's, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Steve Martin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chick Corea, Elvis Costello, Muddy Waters, McCoy Tyner, Linda Ronstadt, The Allman Brothers Band and many others. Several documentaries have been shot on the inside of Exit/In, and many artists, including Kelly Pickler, have used the space to shoot music videos.

The club is featured in the 1975 Robert Altman film, Nashville. The club was also featured in Steve Martin's Born Standing Up. On the cover of The Police's Zenyatta Mondatta album, Sting can be seen in one of the small photos wearing an Exit/In t-shirt.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
RCA Studio B

2) RCA Studio B (must see)

RCA Studio B is a noted recording studio situated at 1611 Roy Acuff Place and originally known simply as RCA Studios. It became famous in the 1960s for being a part of what many refer to as the Nashville Sound. Built by Dan Maddox in 1956, it was constructed at the request of Chet Atkins and Steve Sholes to facilitate the needs of RCA Victor Records and other record labels. According to Chet Atkins, the plans for the studio were drawn up on a napkin by Bill Miltenburg, RCA's chief engineer and recording manager.

The recording studio is a single-story building with offices occupying the front but the area of the studio and control room has a second story that contains an echo chamber. The studio itself measures 42.5' by 27' by 13'. In 1960 and 1961 an addition was built to provide office space and rooms for tape mastering and a lacquer mastering lab.

A larger studio was built on 17th avenue in 1964 that became known as Studio A; the existing studio was referred to as Studio B from that point on. In 1977 the studio was made available to the Country Music Hall of Fame for tours, and in 1992 it was donated to the Country Music Hall of Fame by the late Dan Maddox. Until 2001, it was operated as an attraction when the new home for the Hall of Fame was built in downtown Nashville.

Why You Should Visit:
This is a really cool guided tour (about as good as it gets) you can add on to your visit at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
See the piano that Elvis recorded on, and antique recording equipment... has a unique aura about it.
Obviously, you can also learn the process of recording live music and producing records.

Tip:
Tours sell out quickly so make an online reservation early or go first thing in the morning to get a tour time.
Remember to use the facilities inside the Country Music Hall of Fame because you won't find a bathroom at the studio.

Tour Hours:
Daily: 10:30am-2:30pm
Tours depart hourly from the Country Music Hall of Fame
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI)

3) Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI)

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) is one of three United States performing rights organizations, along with ASCAP and SESAC. It collects license fees on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed. In 2009, BMI collected over $905 million in licensing fees and distributed $788 million in royalties. BMI songwriters create all forms of music in all genres, from mainstream pop and country, to death metal. In the 1930s, radio was coming to prominence as a source of musical entertainment that threatened to weaken record sales and opportunities for "live" acts. The Great Depression was already draining artist revenues from recordings and live performances.

In 1939, ASCAP announced a substantial increase in the revenue share licensees would be required to pay. BMI was founded by the National Association of Broadcasters to provide a lower-cost alternative to ASCAP. As such, BMI created competition in the field of performing rights, providing an alternative source of licensing for all music users. Competing against the strongly established ASCAP, BMI sought out artists that ASCAP tended to overlook or ignore. BMI also purchased the rights to numerous catalogs held by independent publishers or whose ASCAP contracts were about to expire. Also during this time, BMI expanded its repertoire of classical music, and now represents the majority of the members of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters and the winners of 30 Pulitzer Prizes for Music.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Musica Statue in Buddy Killen Circle

4) Musica Statue in Buddy Killen Circle

Musica is a bronze statue unveiled in 2003 that sits in a grassy knoll at the center of a traffic rotary where Division Street meets 16th Avenue North/Music Square East (known as the Music Row Roundabout or Buddy Killen Circle across from the Owen Bradley Park in the Music Row area of Nashville. It was built as part of an urban renewal project for the Music Row neighborhood.

Musica is Alan LeQuire's largest sculpture commission to date, and currently the largest sculpture group in the United States. It features nine nude figures, male and female, dancing in a circular composition approximately 38 feet (11.5 m) tall. The scale of each figure is fourteen to fifteen feet, or more than twice life-size. The dancers and part of the base are cast in bronze. The other part of the base is composed of massive natural limestone boulders, which are prevalent in the Nashville area. The sculpture weighs approximately 10 tons.

The $1.1-million project, funded by local arts patrons who gave on the condition of anonymity, is being offered as a gift to the city to highlight that very point. Such a permanent tribute, since approved by the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and Metro Council, is what project backers sought originally when they approached LeQuire several years back.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Barbershop Harmony Society

5) Barbershop Harmony Society

The Barbershop Harmony Society, legally and historically named the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, Inc., is the first of several organizations to promote and preserve barbershop music as an art form. Founded by Owen C. Cash in 1938, the organization quickly grew, promoting barbershop harmony among men of all ages. As of 2007, just under 30,000 men in the United States and Canada are members of this organization whose focus is on acappella music. The international headquarters was in Kenosha, Wisconsin for fifty years before moving to Nashville, Tennessee in 2007.

A key aspect of the Society's mission is in the preservation of barbershop music. To this end, it maintains the Old Songs Library. Holding over 100,000 titles (750,000 sheets) this is the largest sheet music collection in the world excepting only the Library of Congress. The "Barberpole Cat Program" is an essential repertoire of 12 songs (commonly known as "polecats") that every barbershopper should know. The purpose of this program is to give all barbershoppers a common repertoire so that any new quartet will have something already prepared to sing. The Harmony Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, was incorporated in 1959 as a charitable subsidiary of the Barbershop Harmony Society; it raises financial support for the society's programs.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Sommet Center - Gaylord Entertainment Center

6) Sommet Center - Gaylord Entertainment Center

Built in 1996, Sommet Center is an all-purpose venue that hosts a variety of sports events, religious gatherings and numerous concerts. It has a capacity of 19,395 seats for basketball, 17,113 for ice hockey, 30,000 for concerts and 5,145 for theater performances.
7
Schermerhorn Symphony Center

7) Schermerhorn Symphony Center (must see)

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center in downtown Nashville formally opened on September 9, 2006, with a gala concert conducted by Leonard Slatkin and broadcast by PBS affiliates throughout the state. The center is named in honor of Kenneth Schermerhorn, who was the music director and conductor of the Nashville Symphony from 1983 until his death in 2005.

At the heart of Schermerhorn Symphony Center is the 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2), 1,844-seat Laura Turner Concert Hall, which is home to the Nashville Symphony. The hall is of the shoebox style. It features natural lighting, which streams in through 30 soundproof, double-paned clerestory windows. Schermerhorn Symphony Center also houses the Mike Curb Family Music Education Hall, a 2,438-square-foot (226.5 m2) space that hosts smaller performances and also serves as a venue for the symphony’s ongoing music-education initiative, Music Education City.

David M. Schwarz Architects, Inc., of Washington, D.C., designed the center, with Earl Swensson Associates of Nashville as architect of record. Paul Scarbrough of Akustiks was responsible for the acoustic design of the hall. In 2009, Schermerhorn Symphony Center was recognized as one of 25 North and South American finalists in the Urban Land Institute's (ULI) Awards for Excellence. Presented annually, these awards honor building projects for superior design, for sound building practices and for making meaningful contributions to their communities.

Why You Should Visit:
Great acoustics, great elegance, many seating/price options (even on the day of the show), multiple bars, a gift shop...
You can't go wrong seeing a show here, and you may get to enjoy the award-winning Nashville Symphony (& Chorus).

Tip:
If you attend a symphony performance, don't miss the post-concert talk with the conductor. It is intimate and a wonderful end to a great time.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 10am-6pm; Sat: 12-4pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Nashville, Tennessee

Create Your Own Walk in Nashville

Create Your Own Walk in Nashville

Creating your own self-guided walk in Nashville is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
A Walk on Tennessee Capitol Hill

A Walk on Tennessee Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill is the site of Tennessee legislation. It is a spectacular combination of the past meeting the present, with open-air museums, modern towers, state buildings, bridges, and other attractions. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the heart of Tennessee.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
City Orientation Walk II

City Orientation Walk II

Nashville has always been about country music. Places like the Grand Old Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Country Music Hall of Fame are among the city's main landmarks. Still, other than country music, there's more to Nashville than one can imagine. Find out yourself by taking this orientation walk and explore these and other top attractions of Nashville.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Vanderbilt Neighborhood Walk

Vanderbilt Neighborhood Walk

In this area you will find Vanderbilt University, Peabody College and Belmont University. Visit the neighborhood of National Historic Landmarks and learn about the history of the state's educational system. Enjoy a game with the Vanderbilt Commodores at the university's stadium!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Religious Sites of Nashville

Religious Sites of Nashville

Being at the heart of Tennessee, Nashville features a great number of churches, cathedrals and other places of worship. Take the following walking tour to discover the most beautiful and interesting religious buildings in the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Downtown Daily Life

Downtown Daily Life

Enjoy a good local beer at the Yazoo Brewing Company and walk down Lower Broadway to the Shelby Street Bridge. Visit the honky-tonk bars, listen to great live music on your way and watch the sunset on one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Jewels of African American Education in Nashville

Jewels of African American Education in Nashville

As a part of its great history, Tennessee is proud of its institutions of higher education for African Americans. This sightseeing tour will guide you to Nashville's famous Fisk University and its legendary Jubilee Hall, Tennessee State University and its glorious Gentry Complex. Take this tour to discover some of the most significant pages in American history.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Nashville for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Nashville has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Nashville, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.