Ready, y’all? Time to kick up our boots and celebrate country music! The Country Music Association and the industry recognize and celebrate the month of October as “Country Music Month.” I know what you are thinking. Isn’t every month country music month in Nashville?
The official recognition began in 1964 and was created to bring awareness and recognition to the industry and history of country music. Country music allegedly began in the 1920’s in the southern United States. Also known as hillbilly music or country-western music, it evolved from folk and blues music. Country music evolved over the decades and continues to be ever-changing. I love living in the Nashville area because we can catch up-and-coming singers and songwriters at local bars such as Tootsies, the Bluebird Cafe — or anywhere up and down Broadway. Many artists got their starts right here!
Another cool thing about living in Nashville? We can get in on the celebration all month long! Here are a few of my suggestions:
Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame
The Country Music Hall of Fame is located in the heart of downtown. They have permanent and temporary exhibits highlighting the history of the country music genre and the artists of the industry. During the month of October, they are hosting Fall Break specials with activities geared toward kids! Check out the full list here. Per their website, “Youth from Davidson and bordering counties may enter the museum free, as part of the museum initiative . Up to two accompanying adults receive 25 percent off admission. Proof of residency required. For more information, please visit or inquire at the museum box office.”
Tour the Ryman
The Ryman is known as the “Mother Church of country music.” Built in 1892, it has been a staple in the industry for many years. Hosting the Grand Ole Opry show until 1974, now it serves as a live-music venue for artists spanning many genres. This venue is also in the heart of downtown Nashville and serves as a stop for many tourists! For more information on how to do a tour, click here.
Go to the Grand Ole Opry
I admit, I grew up as a native Tennesseean, listening to country music since birth. My first cassette tape was Alan Jackson “Here in the Real World” and my first concerts were Alabama and Travis Tritt. But I did not go to a Grand Ole Opry show until I was 32 years old. I suggest that if you have never been, you remedy that ASAP! You can catch legendary artists as well as country newcomers, all while sitting on a church pew, enjoying some country tunes. Get your tickets today by visiting this link.
Catch a Show at the Famous Bluebird Cafe
The Bluebird Cafe is not in the downtown area. Instead, it is nestled in the shops of the Green Hills/Hillsboro area. It is located in a strip mall, and if you blink, you might miss it. The Bluebird has been recognized as a songwriter’s performance space — performing their songs in an acoustic, intimate environment. The audience is small, so get there early to get a seat. The exciting part of attending a show here is you never know who might show up to surprise the audience. I suggest adding this to your bucket list as a must do experience. The calendar of events can be found here and you can make reservations — which is highly recommended.
So go! Enjoy the month of October, and celebrate by listening to your favorite country tunes. Visit some must-see places and celebrate all that is country music!