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.
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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.