Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Country Music — Barometer of a Person’s Soul

©Bert Gildart: Here in Nashville, Tennessee, along Broadway and Second – or Third – everyone, regardless of age, is young.  But there’s more.  Here, as boots, jeans, miniskirts, low-cut blouses attest — everyone is sexy, cool and self assured.

Mostly it’s because of Country Music, and for the day, we’re part of the in-crowd though our dress remains conservative.  Music tastes, however, are eclectic and we adhere to Phil Vassar’s philosophy, a performer who believes that [music is the] “true Barometer of a Person’s Soul.


Ryman3

Ryman, the Mother Church of Country Music, almost full half hour before opening.

 

But there’s yet more:  this is all about Country Music, which has been further defined by Harlan Howard as “Three chords of music – and the truth.”

In all probability there are millions who have made the pilgrimage to Nashville at some time in their life to “learn the truth.”  After all “Stars” have truly influenced the lives of many.  They’ve added meaning, and the group of devotees is diverse and includes representatives from all walks. But what most in the group share in common is that few are strangers to Hee-Haw (longest running TV Show), or to musicians such as Slim Whitman, Merle Haggard, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Lefty Frizzell, Cowboy Copas, Webb Pierce or Kitty Wells.  These performers have helped to fashion barometers of the faithful.

 

GoldCadillac Tooties

 

L to R: Elvis Presley’s gold cadillac; 11 a.m. at Tootsie’s, who’s owner once provided upstairs rental rooms to both Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard.

 

Music is also a mood setters for us, but this morning it’s augmented by a self-walking tour with short a.m. stops at several bars along Broadway.  (10:30 at Trixie’s, 10:45 at the Legend, and 11 at Dick’s Last Resort.)  All are full and the comradery of the crowd is an inducement to stay, but we’re on a mission, so we limit our intake.  But others don’t.  They imbibe sinful amounts, something city fathers must have anticipated long ago for Nashville boasts 700-plus churches.  (Little wonder gospel music is so popular.)

For us, the day-time mood setters was basically confined to the Country Music Hall of Fame, which we entered about 11:30.  We take almost four hours to walk the immense layout of this legendary shrine.  TV screens are everywhere and on one Cousin Many Pearl is proclaiming that [she is] “…just so proud to be here.”

On another Carl Perkins is singing and dancing to his Blue Suede Shoes, while on yet another Hank Williams Sr. is crooning “We’ll Go Honky Talkin’.


Ryman2 JohnnyCash Ryman


L to R: April 23rd performance of Opry Country Classics included Larry Gatlin, TG Sheppard, The Whites and Craig Morgan.  It was an incredible venue.  Johnny Cash, one of 124 (2014 count) members of the Hall of Fame; exterior of Ryman Auditorium, built in 1892 and served as home to Grand Ole’ Opry from 1943 to 1974, when it was moved to Opry Land on outskirts of Nashville. 


But displays in the museum are often heroic – but almost always genuine.  They include music instruments, costume dress – and Elvis’s Gold Cadillac.  Look at the mirrors and handles but also at his gold piano.

That night we make the short walk from Main Street to attend the “Opry Country Classics.” at the Ryman.  The lineup is great and includes Larry Gatlin as MC. Later in the program he’s joined by his brothers to sing “All the Gold In California.”  It was great and fans could not contain themselves, joining the Brothers in the refrain:  “All the Gold in California is in a bank in Beverly Hills in Somebody  else’s name.”

Remember??

We will, and for a long time yet to come, for country music continues to influence us.


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THIS TIME LAST YEAR:

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