Nashville, Stamps & Elvis
Nashville, Stamps & Elvis
By Mark Newbrook
Various covers over the years have featured Elvis Presley and other stars of popular music. I myself am a fan of classic rock, folk-rock and folk. My beloved is a big fan of the contemporary country music scene, and I have now caught the bug (and own a suitable hat, in which I was once photographed alongside Texan star Katie Armiger)!
Each year in March Jo & I go to the 02 in London for the three-day ‘Country-2-Country’ fest. We’ve also been to other gigs in the UK (Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves, etc.)
Carried away by enthusiasm, we decided to spend Christmas 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee, the home of American country music and the setting of a well-known TV series about the scene. A planned day-trip to Memphis (birthplace of the Delta Blues, and where Elvis actually lived) was cancelled (no-one else had booked on it!), but we did get to see the famous Studio B in Nashville’s ‘music district’ and to sit at the piano where Elvis and others rehearsed and recorded.
We went to two stirring group gigs. One of them was at the historic Ryman Auditorium, a former tabernacle (founded as a counter to the then prevalent red-light scene in central Nashville) where the Grand Ole Opry now stages many of its shows. The Ryman has also hosted diverse non-country acts from Houdini to the Beatles.
Downtown bars such as Legends Corner and Tootsie’s feature live local bands on up to three levels, with the music booming out onto Broadway. Bus tours with full commentary take you past the stars’ homes and the filming locations for the TV series. You can tour the Hatch Show Print works where posters advertising the gigs are made by traditional methods in a distinctive (inimitable!) style.
A highlight was the music museums, most of all the enormous Country Museum and Hall of Fame, which starts from the British Isles precursors of country (trad folk; there’s even a photo of Cecil Sharp doing fieldwork in the Appalachians!) and runs through the whole history of the genre with ephemera, photos, instruments, trophies and even cars associated with the many big stars, all the way to the young New Zealander Keith Urban who is featured in one of the temporary exhibitions.
More specific museums celebrate Johnny Cash, George Jones and Willie Nelson, and there’s also a Musicians’ Hall Of Fame (founded by Duane Eddy) including non-country legends such as Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Bruce Springsteen and even British acts such as George Harrison and Dire Straits.
If you’re not into the music there’s much more in Nashville, including antebellum mansions, a Civil War battlefield in the suburbs, an enormous State Museum, an exact replica of the Parthenon in Athens as it originally was, a (not very successful) American football team, etc., etc.!
You can also purchase the Fantastic 2015 Elvis commemorate covers pictured below. The set of 5 covers all include a single 2015 USA ‘Elvis Forever’ stamp and Gold Memphis digital postmark.
Full set of Elvis covers £27.50
Or order individually at £6.00 each
(Sunglasses, Dog Tag Label, Microphone, Las Vegas & Guitar)
To order Call 01303 278 137 or