June 8, 2019
Pop Pop and I had some more notes to sing in Music City before we left, so day three of our road trip started with a walk through of the Country Music Hall of Fame and a tour of Hatch Show Print.
When you go to book your Country Music Hall of Fame tickets, the website offers package tickets for the Hall of Fame plus Hatch Show Print or the historic RCA Studio B recording studio used by legendary country artists. I decided the Hatch Show Print Letterpress was the tour for us because it is definitely far from something I had ever done before, and I thought the history of it seemed more tangible than the recording studio.
We arrived at the Country Music Hall of Fame around the time of its 9 a.m. opening and explored the three levels of exhibits for almost two hours. Again, I think I could appreciate everything a bit better having toured the Ryman and then experienced the Grand Ole Opry. The oodles of information presented ranged from how African Americans influenced country music and the evolving use of instruments in the genre to special memorabilia such as Elvis Presley’s gold-plated Cadillac.
I actually had no idea Elvis was ever considered a country star, so that was a surprising find. Another cool find was the Taylor Swift Education Center, which houses multiple classrooms, a videoconference lab and an interactive gallery and is used for youth programs.
The self-guided tour through the museum ended at the Country Music Hall of Fame: a round room that houses the plaques of all the inductees.
Overall, the museum is very modern and filled with interactive multi-media setups that make it easy to forget this it’s an education museum. As always, I could go on about the museum, but I hope you get a small idea of what it’s like from my brief description.
Our Hatch Show Print Letterpress tour started at 11, and we spent the next hour and a half learning about the rich history of the unique letterpress, how prints are made and some of the artists and companies it has served. In short, the shop is a letterpress print shop that has printed flyers and posters by hand since 1879. The tour ended with a sweet surprise—we got to press our own small print. Learning about the important history of the shop and then getting to experience the process was definitely special.
And with that, we had to wave our figurative cowboy hats goodbye and head out of Nashville. If I am being honest, Nashville was never a place on my travel list, although I figured I would end up there eventually. I thought it would be a city I would visit, appreciate, and not feel the need to visit again. However, the energy of Nashville really drew me in and I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. I can see how people my age would enjoy it too with all the nightlife and new draw of bachelorette parties. I can now confidently say I hope to go back to Nashville and experience its charm all over again.
Of course Nashville only took up some time, and we had the whole afternoon and evening ahead of us. Pop Pop reserved tickets for the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri—another place I never thought I would visit. I’ll tell you all about that wild ride in my next post.
Have you ever been to Nashville? Let me know what your favorite thing you did is in the comments below!