Nashville's Music Row district and Edgehill neighborhood—often referred to as the Music Row/Edgehill neighborhood—is a paradise for music lovers, offering an array of attractions that resonate with the soul of the city's rich musical heritage. Music lovers can benefit from a backstage pass to the must-see spots in Music Row/Edgehill, where every corner has a story to tell, and every venue is a gateway to the legends of music. Get ready to explore the iconic studios, museums, and live music venues that make this area a symphony of sights and sounds. Welcome to the ultimate musical tour of Nashville's Music Row/Edgehill community, one of Nashville's most walkable neighborhoods.
Tour Historic RCA Studio B
Historic RCA Studio B is maintained by the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. The studio was founded by Steve Scholes and Chet Atkins in 1957, and many careers were launched from this studio over the years. More than 1,000 hit songs were recorded at Studio B, and legendary performers like Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, and Waylon Jennings recorded their albums here.
RCA shut down all of its studios in the city of Nashville in the 1970s, but the Country Music Hall of Fame kept Studio B open as a museum and started offering tours to the public. Studio B will now be preserved in perpetuity thanks to a philanthropic gift and the efforts of the Hall of Fame. Tickets to tour the museum can be purchased through the Hall of Fame.
Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is located just a few blocks north of Music Row in Nashville's SoBro neighborhood. At 350,000 square feet, the Hall of Fame—one of Nashville's must-see attractions—is an enormous museum dedicated to the preservation and history of country music. Anyone who lives in the Nashville area, including Music Row, can tour the Hall of Fame and Museum for free through the Community Counts program. It works for youths and up to two accompanying adults.
The museum has thousands of artifacts in its collection. In addition to permanent exhibitions, the experiences rotate regularly, so there is always something new to see or learn about. Some of the regular events that happen include songwriting and music sessions with performing artists, songwriters, and other artists. Singers, musicians, and bands perform live monthly at the CMA Theater inside the Hall of Fame and Museum.
As you leave the Country Music Hall of Fame and head out to explore Downtown Nashville's best neighborhoods, it's worth visiting the Walk of Fame Park first, located directly across Demonbreun Street from the museum. It's similar to the Walk of Fame in Hollywood but is dedicated to top country music performers. Instead of just a star, the plaques for each performing artist have a star in the background and a guitar in the foreground.
Check Out the Owen Bradley Statue in Owen Bradley Park
Owen Bradley was an important country music producer in Nashville in the 1950s and '60s. He was one of the pioneers of the "Nashville Sound" along with Chet Atkins. The Quonset Hut Studio was where Bradley began his career before later moving his studio into his barn on his farm outside Nashville. He produced records for country music greats, including Ernest Tubbs, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and Conway Twitty. One of the last artists that he produced before his death was k.d. lang.
Bradley is widely considered to be one of the most important producers in all of country music history. Owen Bradley Park, located at the north end of Music Square in Music Row and the Midtown Nashville neighborhood, is named in the legendary producer's honor. The main feature is a bronze statue of Bradley seated at a grand piano near the entrance to the park, which was dedicated in 1999. There's enough room on the piano bench next to Bradley for visitors to sit down and take a selfie with him.
Admire the Gallery of Iconic Guitars
Belmont University is located directly south of Music Row in the Belmont-Hillsboro neighborhood, and it is home to the Gallery of Iconic Guitars. This venue, often referred to as "The GIG at Belmont," presents the opportunity to view and hear some of the most rare guitars and other stringed instruments ever created. Some of the displays include historical acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins, and other instruments.
A few of the treasures preserved at The GIG include:
- An 1887 Martin 0-28
- A 1923 Gibson F-5 Mandolin, signed by designer Lloyd Loar
- A rare 1939 Martin D-45 (one of only 91 ever created)
- A 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard
- The Loar Quartet, featuring an F-5 mandolin, H-5 mandola, K-5 mandocello, and L-5 guitar
All of the rare and iconic instruments at The GIG can be viewed up close as visitors learn about their importance. The Gallery of Iconic Guitars is located inside the library at Belmont University, and parking is free outside. Kids under 12 can tour The GIG for free, and tickets for everyone else are just $5 apiece. Tickets can be purchased in advance through their website or on-site.
Visit the Historic Quonset Hut Studio
The Quonset Hut Studio was one of the very first music recording studios in the Music Row neighborhood, which today is surrounded by some of the most sought-after condos in Nashville. Producer Owen Bradley and his brother bought a house on 16th Avenue South in 1954 and tore the first floor out of it to create a recording studio. They then purchased a surplus Army Quonset hut and attached it to the back of the house to use as a TV studio for recording musical performances. That became the Quonset Hut Studio, which was known for its superior acoustics.
The studio was an instant success, and multiple record labels came to have their artists record songs and albums at the Quonset Hut Studio. Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, George Jones, and other country music legends recorded hits here. The Bradleys sold the home and Quonset Hut to Columbia Records in the 1960s. Belmont University uses the Quonset Hut Studio today as part of its Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business.
The Melody of Nashville's Music Row/Edgehill Community
Nashville's Music Row/Edgehill neighborhood is a vibrant canvas painted with the history and ongoing legacy of music. Similar to experiencing Downtown Nashville's best honky tonks, this area's top attractions for music lovers are cultural hotspots that seem to pulsate with melodies and memories. From historic recording studios to buzzing live venues, Music Row/Edgehill offers an immersive experience into the soul of music. As you leave the echoes of guitar strings and heartfelt lyrics behind, remember that this neighborhood isn't just a place to visit; it's a living, breathing tribute to the rhythms that shape our lives. Nashville's Music Row/Edgehill is where every note tells a story, inviting you to be part of its timeless tune.
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