I watched the ABC show about Nashville last week. No, not that one.
On Nov. 3 the network aired the Music City valentine "For The Love Of Music: The Story of Nashville," an hour-long "documentary" that helps explain why so many music makers and fans fall in love with this town. It featured many of Nashville's great music creators/advocates such as previous GRAMMYs on the Hill honorees Martina McBride and Vince Gill, and two songwriters who have come to D.C. to advocate with us: Brett James and Jon Randall.
As I travel to each of The Recording Academy's 12 Chapter cities, there is much to write about — and I plan to do so in this space in the coming months. But today, having just come back from CMA week, it's Music City's turn.
Music is woven into every aspect of this town. The moment you step off the plane, the recorded announcements you hear are read by Nashville artists. The airport has a live performance stage, and even the TSA stick figure is carrying a guitar.
When I arrived at the first pre-CMA event on Nov. 4, I ran into Brett and Jon at various times. When I congratulated each of them on the documentary, they each told me they hadn't seen it yet.
What? They're featured in a network special and they didn't get around to watching it? After my initial surprise, I realized that's just typical of the unassuming nature of music makers in Nashville. Artists interact directly with their fans, songwriters go to writing sessions like it's a regular job and for producers, the line between their work life and their home life is often a wall in their house. In most cities, interacting with stars is like seeing animals in a zoo. In Nashville, it's a petting farm.
The documentary may have been partly promotional, but neither the music nor the message sounded a false note. Nashville is a city with heart and soul, a place where music and music makers are given their due, and a place everyone in our industry should experience for themselves. When you do, there's a good chance you'll see me back there.
I miss it already.