20Fighter Wing Association Reunion 2019 Nashville TennesseeDave Roberts - 2019 Reunion Chairman
There is a good reason why it's called Music City: In 1925, National Life & Accident Insurance Company founded the radio program known today as the Grand Ole Opry. The program's original name was WSM Barn Dance, and the station's call letters were an acronym for the company's slogan, "We Shield Millions!" The famous name change took place two years later when announcer George Hay was preparing for a Saturday night program, which followed a broadcast of classical music from New York. In his opening remarks, Hay quipped, "For the last hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from grand opera and the classics. We now present our own Grand Ole Opry," and the name stuck.
From that time on, musicians have flocked to Nashville to "be discovered" Elvis played on the Grand Ole Opry early in his career, but was told he didn't have much of a future in music. He never returned to the Opry, however, he recorded more than 250 of his songs at RCA's Studio B on Music Row, starting with "Heartbreak Hotel" in 1956. In fact, so much music is recorded here, Nashville is home to country and non-country artists including: Jack White, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman, Bsiel McDonald, Matt Wertz, Joy Williams, Sheryl Crow, Young Buck, Michael W. Smith, and many others.
We are planning a Music Tour which will include the Country Music Hall of Fame and Music Row. We will try to arrange a visit to the Grand Ole Opry if there is enough interest and their schedule cooperates.
Long before Music City, Nashville was known as “The Athens of the South” The Parthenon. in Centennial Park is the world’s only exact replica of the ancient Greek temple. Originally built for Tennessee’s Centennial Exposition in 1897, Inside the temple stands the gilded goddess of wisdom, Athena. At 42-feet tall, Athena Parthenos is the western hemisphere’s largest indoor statue. It also houses a world-class art collection. For those who like art, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts is located in what was formerly Nashville’s main post office, a city landmark placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The Center went to great lengths to preserve the historical integrity of the 1934 Art Deco building, a work of art in itself.
Nashville has a steamboat—THE GENERAL JACKSON-which tours the Cumberland River. We are looking into cruise during one of the days. So, there will be plenty to see and do and probably not enough time to do it all. I haven’t even mentioned all the live music venues including the Wild Horse Saloon—but I’ll save that for another newsletter. Stay tuned for reunion information as it becomes available.