Sunday, August 21, 2016

Nashville, Tennessee: The Music City (Day 3)

We are in Nashville tonight and will remain here until Tuesday morning.  We’ve traveled through Nashville many times, and I’ve even attended conferences here, but have never really “seen it.”  We will see some of it this time around, spending tomorrow morning doing a city tour, tomorrow evening enjoying live country music at a dinner theater, and on Monday night we’ll attend an Elvis Presley (impersonator, of course) concert.  These arrangements were made in a matter of minutes by one of the hostesses here at the campground.  Her name is “Sparkle!”  Isn’t that a beautiful name!  I told Sparkle that I wish I had thought of that name when my daughter Rachel was born.  In fact, I like the name so much that I might begin to call Rachel “Sparkle.”  It fits her just as it fits the “Sparkle” here in Nashville. 

Our short drive to Nashville this morning was uneventful except for an occasional deluge of rain on the highway.  That rain continued through the afternoon and early evening.  Now the sky has cleared and I think we’ll have a great day tomorrow.  We’ll have a great day—rain or shine!

My favorite country music singer and writer of songs was Hank Williams (Senior, not Junior).  Hiram King Williams was born in Mt. Olive, Alabama in 1937. He began his career in Montgomery, Alabama, and then came to Nashville, becoming a superstar by the age of 25.  I remember listening to Hank sing on the “Hometown Frolics,” a country music program on our family radio.  I heard of his death at the age of 29 (January 1, 1953) on that very same radio station.  I remember that moment even though I was only ten years old.  I remember my mother was at the ironing board when the news came.   In the four short years of his career in Nashville, Hank Williams, Sr set the stage for all future country music!  His rise to fame came quickly and Hank could not handle it very well, turning to alcohol and drugs. For a little while, Hank lived with my second favorite country music singer:  Ray Price.  

His songs were unique and filled with life’s realities.  He wrote, “I Saw the Light,” early in his career:
Just like a blind man I wandered along
Worries and fears I claimed for my own
Then like the blind man that God gave back his sight
Praise the Lord I saw the light

While in Nashville, I’ll be thinking of Hank Williams Sr, Ray Price, Hank Snow, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn and a host of others who have made Nashville the “Music City.”

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