Nashville Music Venues

Your Place to Find Nashville Music Venues

Welcome to Nashville Music Venues!  Here in Music City there’s never a shortage of live music.  With over 125 music venues and dozens of music festivals, live music can be seen and enjoyed every day of the year.  It doesn’t matter if you prefer bluegrass, classical, rock, pop, gospel, jazz, contemporary Christian, blues, or country music; Nashville has a venue and/or festival to suite your musical taste.  Whether it’s the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, The Grand Ole Opry, Honky Tonk Row on Broadway or 2nd Ave., Nashville offers world famous live music that can go up against Beale Street in Memphis or 6th Street in Austin any day of the year.

 

 Don’t see a venue or event listed on the site?  CONTACT US and let us know!

 


 

Click On Neighborhood To View Venues

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DOWNTOWN (ALL AREAS)Downtown Map

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 OPRYLAND / MUSIC VALLEYOpryland_Music Valley Map

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WEST END / VANDERBILT / MIDTOWNWest End_Vanderbilt_Midtown Map

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THE GULCHThe Gulch Map

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12 SOUTH12 South Map

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METRO CENTER / NORTH NASHVILLEMetro Center_North Nashville Map

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EAST NASHVILLEEast Nashville Map

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MUSIC ROW / DEMONBREUNMusic Row_Demonbreun

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AIRPORT / NORTHEAST NASHVILLEAirport Map

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WEST NASHVILLEWest Nashville Map

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HILLSBORO / BELMONTHillsboro_Belmont Map

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BERRY HILLBerry Hill Map

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GERMANTOWN / JEFFERSON STGermantown_Jefferson St Map

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GREEN HILLSGreen Hills Map

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SYLVAN PARKSylvan Park Map

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SOUTH NASHVILLESouth Nashville Map

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8TH AVE SOUTH8th Ave South

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ELLISTON PLACEElliston Place Map

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BELLE MEADEBelle Meade Map

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Nashville Music Venues – The History of Music City

 


The History of Music City and Nashville Music Venues

 

Nashville SkylineWhile Music City’s roots are often credited to the rise of Music Row in the 1950’s or the most famous of Nashville music venues, the Grand Ole Opry, in the 1920’s, Nashville’s ties to music stretch back much further than that.  Music has been intertwined with Nashville since the early 1800’s, and continues to this day.  With the presence of publishers, radio, TV, record labels, recording studios, live music venues, Nashville draws all types of music lovers to visit or call Music City their home.
 
In the Beginning

The music publishing business planted its flag in Nashville early on in the city’s history.  Early in the 1820’s Hymnal publishing opened its doors.

Not long after the Civil War, in 1866, Fisk University became the first American college to offer a liberal arts degree to “young men and women irrespective of color.”  After a few years the university fell on hard times financially and a music professor, as well as Fisk treasurer, George L. White put together a nine member choral ensemble comprised of African-American students, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, to tour and raise money for the school through their performances. The term Music City can originally be traced back to one of their performances in 1874, where Queen Victoria of England is said to have stated, “These young people must surely come from a musical city.”
Turn of the Century (1900’s)

As the 1900’s rolled in, Nashville’s population hovered around 90,000.  However, it was home to four major theatres the most popular and renowned of Nashville music venues, The Ryman Auditorium.  The Ryman became known as the “Carnegie Hall of the South”, boasting performances by many of the top artists of the time.

The Ryman Auditorium

The Ryman Auditorium

During the “Roaring 20’s” orchestras and jazz bands lead by such legendary conductors as Beasley Smith and Francis Craig filled the speakeasies and other Nashville music venues.
Enter-Radio

In 1925 a Nashville based insurance company, National Life and Accident Insurance Company, started a radio station in Nashville with the call letters WSM, which stood for the company’s motto “We Shield Millions”.  With WSM’s large reach of listeners they are credited with popularizing country music.  Listeners from around the country would tune in every Saturday night to listen to the Grand Ole Opry program, which has become the longest running radio program in American radio history.

Since WSM had the largest reaching listening audience, performers from all over would journey to Nashville with the dream of getting to perform and be heard by WSM listeners.  As WSM grew it laid the ground for Nashville to become a music business capitol spawning independent record labels, recording studios, and music publishing companies.  WSM’s DJ, David Cobb, is credited with giving Nashville its permanent nickname Music City when he referred to Nashville as “Music City USA” in the 1950’s.
Music Row

In 1955 Owen Bradley, a WSM band leader, founded Quonset Hut Studio at 804 16th Avenue South.  This became the first of many major and independent record companies that would be called Music Row located at 16th and 17th Avenues in Nashville, home.

By the 1960’s, with a flock of record labels calling Nashville home, it became one of the top recording centers in the country and “The Nashville Sound” was born.  Songwriting legends such as Harland Howard and Hank Cochran put out works that sold millions of records.  Country stars like Ferlin Husky, Eddy Arnold, Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline took country music, and Nashville, nationwide.  Other artist such as The Byrds, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, and Elvis all came to Nashville’s top notch recording studios to record some of their biggest hits.
Not Just Country Music

While Nashville is most commonly known for country music, it was also a center of blues and R&B from the late 1940’s up until the 1970’s.  WLAC, based out of Nashville, brought such artists as Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, and B.B. King to audiences all over the south and eastern United States.

Several Nashville music venues along Jefferson Street, such as The New Era Club, hosted such artists as Etta James, Otis Redding, and even a young Jimmy Hendrix.
1990’s

In the 1990’s Garth Brooks, with his unprecedented success, was dubbed the face of Nashville.  His massive record sales and huge grossing tours brought country music to a new high in both generating revenue and national popularity.  After Elvis, Garth Brooks has the second bestselling album for a solo artist of all time.  However, as the 90’s wore down the music industry began to decline as much as 40% in overall revenue and sales.
Nashville Music VenuesModern Day Music City

While the music industry may have greatly declined since its height in 2001, Nashville has remained a vibrant music center.  Producing such stars as Taylor Swift, Paramore, and the Kings of Leon, Nashville continues to crank out talented artist and hit records.  As home of many music festivals such as the CMA Fest, and Nashville music venues like Mercy Lounge, Bluebird Café, Robert’s Western World, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, and many more Nashville is well known for quality live music and draws in music lovers from all over the world.

 

 

For information on visiting Music City contact the Nashville Visitors Center at:

Nashville Visitors CenterFIFTH AVENUE SOUTH & BROADWAY
(615) 259-4747 or (615) 254-1725
Open daily inside the glass tower of the Bridgestone Arena. We are wireless! Come in and log on.
Hours:
Monday-Saturday 8am-5:30pm
Sunday 10am-5pm