Nashville's lost music history
It was 1962 and this young musician was recently discharged from the Army at nearby Fort Campbell. He was soon living in an apartment above a nightclub on Jefferson Street in Nashville.
Furnished with little more than a bed and a light, this musician practiced his craft on guitar throughout the day and showcased his talent in the local clubs at night.
He was mostly a backup performer in the R&B clubs that lined Jefferson St. Soon thereafter the world discovered him when he moved to London in 1966.
That young musician is better known as Jimi Hendrix.
Hendrix is just a small part of the of the Rhythm and Blues scene that exploded in Nashville from 1945 to 1970.
These two giant music genres grew up together in Nashville and yet only one survived here. Most of the historic venues on Jefferson St are long gone and forgotten by all but the fans of this era. In its prime, the Nashville R&B music scene was as important as the Apollo Theater in New York, Beale Street in Memphis or the French Quarter in New Orleans.
Michael Gray, of the Country Music Museum, who compiled a Grammy winning collection of the music of this period said, “It’s interesting to see how the two musics relate to each other,” Gray said. “We feel like we can learn more about country music by looking at how it intersected with rhythm & blues. … And even during the days of segregation, when blacks and whites couldn’t sit or eat together, they were making music together in the studios, on the stage and on the radio.”
It’s amazing how the love of music brought people together in Nashville, even when society wants to keep them apart.
And that’s what Gretchen and I strive to do in real estate, bring people together to create something beautiful when the world is tugging at their coattails.