Nashville…is a music hub that accepts and allows all genres to be present, and I think there’s been a kind of fusing of genres lately that for me makes me happy and excited.”
Cecile and I and Susan and Nelson Bye toured the vast and impressive Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame. The truth is it took me kicking and screaming to admit I was a fan of country music. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the music of some of the greats like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, and Dolly Parton. But, it was the more modern country and country inspired singers and musicians and pop crossover artists like Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, Shania Twain, Kerry Underwood, Keith Urban and Blake Shelton that won me over.
After the Hall of Fame tour, we boarded a tour bus to Nashville’s Only Historic Studio Tour. “RCA’s Studio B was built for Elvis,” said our guide and musician, George who performs in a country band with his brother David. “But, over the years 1000 hit records were recorded here."
George gave us a fascinating tour, recalling the history of the studio with all the passion only a lover
of music and musical greats could do. He shared a number of anecdotes with us. For example, he showed us a cabinet that a turntable used to sit on, that Elvis kicked causing a piece to break off. The reason: He was angry at RCA because of the poor quality of the turntable they provided him to audition songs he was about to record.
RCA, displeased with Elvis’s temper tantrum refused to repair the cabinet and there it sits in disrepair to this day.
George showed us how the lighting system Elvis had installed to change the mood his songs evoked. As he played a dozen or so recordings, five by Elvis himself, he showed us how it worked.
There was a vintage Steinway piano in front of the glass enclosed recording studio. What made it special was that it was Elvis’s favorite. I found this interesting since Elvis owned a gold grand piano that Pricilla bought for him which we saw on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame we had visited.
George offered to take a photo of us seated at the piano and since Cecile and I were the closest to it we stepped up take advantage of this opportunity. As George said, the piano keys contains the DNA of the some of the world’s greatest musicians.
After listening to Elvis’s songs and learning about some of the things that happened behind the scenes there was no denying that the spirit of Elvis was alive. George added that Elvis won’t be leaving this studio any time soon but unfortunately, after the next two songs, we must go.