Minnie Pearl and Friends

Spring Break 2008 has been great so far. Although our plans to travel to the Big Apple were nipped in the bud (cash flow problem), we decided to get in the trusty Toyota and head up the road to Nashville. Neither of us had ever been, but we researched it before leaving town Monday morning and felt pretty comfortable about our visit.

It was dark when we arrived, and since we were tired after seven hours in the car, we decided to grab a bite to eat and check into the hotel. The next morning we were up early, ready to go and do the tourist thing. First on the agenda was securing tickets for the Grand Ole Opry. After all, how can a person go to Nashville without visiting that legendary site?

Tickets secured, we signed up for a Grayline tour of the city, and thanks to our driver, it was both fun and informative. Among other things, we learned that Minnie Pearl earned two college degrees, Alan Jackson used to deliver mail to Opry performers, Porter Wagoner was a chronic insomniac who often slept only two hours per night, and printing and publishing is the #1 business in Nashville. We did other typical day-tripper things like shopping and eating out (even at 11:00 at night…a big deal for us small town residents). We did a little shopping. DH found a Bass Pro Shop, and I found a marvelous mall. Someone recommended that we tour the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, and thinking that’d we be in and out in fifteen minutes, we decided to sandwich it in. We emerged 55 minutes later, agog at the foliage, waterfalls, restaurants, atriums, conservatory, and ballrooms that we’d seen.

Because it was a Tuesday night, the Opry singers and musicians weren’t big names like Loretta Lynn or Lorrie Morgan; they had been there the previous weekend. In fact, there were no female performers at all on Tuesday, but the men who were there were all talented and well worth the admission price. My personal favorites were Little Jimmy Dickens (quite amusing) and Chuck Wicks (eye candy as my friend Dorothy would have said). Until this week, I didn’t know that the Grand Ole Opry was actually a radio show that’s broadcast three nights a week from Nashville on an AM radio station known as WSM (650 on the dial, I think). Since it’s actually a radio show, the performances from the Opry house are interspersed with commercials from sponsors such as the Cracker Barrel and Humana.

The most important thing I brought home from the trip was the sure knowledge that these singers, song writers, musicians, and other performers are using their God-given gifts and that they work hard, very hard, to hone their craft(s) and entertain their fans. Before our visit to Nashville, I never thought that much about Vince Gill, Roy Acuff, or Tammy Wynette. Thanks to our trip up the road, now I have an increased appreciation of these country greats. I can’t get Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” or her untimely death out of my mind. And just so you’ll know, we listened to 650 AM all the way back to SC

Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

10 thoughts on “Minnie Pearl and Friends”

  1. i just love the neck of the woods you guys are in you are so lucky to be driving back to south carolina, hiking in north carolina, visiting country musics mecca, i can’t wait to go back in july to ashbourgh nc….

  2. Nashville is definitely an interesting city. There’s a mish-mash of stuff going on all the time! Carl had some drums re-done at Fork’s Music Store and we picked them up together. Fork’s has an amazing history of musicians and their previously owned instruments. It was fascinating.
    Love, love Patsy Cline. I think Jessica Lange did a movie based on her life. I cried.

  3. That’s one thing I like about country music and Star Trek fans. They stick with their artists for LIFE.

    I think it is very smart that Carrie Underwood went country. She can have a whole career, even if it is not in the mainstream for a solid 40 years if she wants.

  4. Last time we went to Nashville, I was 7 months pregnant with Hunter! We decided to walk to the country hall of fame museum. I was so tired after walking that far, Kevin had to walk back alone and bring the car to me! I thought I was going to have that baby right there! It is definately a cool city!

  5. Thanks for your posts, Everyone. It’s exciting to know that there are other country fans out there too. Actually I never considered myself a fan until learning more about these vavious artists earlier this week. We’ll definitely be returning, and next time we’re going to stay in that fabulous hotel that all we could do was walk around and say, “Oh my goodness, look at that” about 100 times. It was so awesome!

    Barlow, I hope you get to come back to the South in July…and that you’re ready for some serious heat.

    Connie, I LOVE Patsy Cline too and have seen that movie. Now I want to see it again. One of my favorite lines from the movie is when she goes out to sing at a club and meets her second husband. Her mother is sort of chastisting her about it, and she says something like, “I’ve been starving, and I didn’t even know it.”

    Hayden, I don’t know much about Carrie Underwood YET, but I’m learning.

    Michelle, Isn’t that the coolest museum? Elvis’s gold plated piano had me gawking at it.

  6. I like Tammy Wynette too. I just love her song, I go walking after midnight. . . the groove is just such, can’t explain it. I swagger from side to side everytime I hear it. I also like Crytal Gail, Don’t it make my brown eyes blue. Country music can always tell a story I can relate to. I just may go listen to some today, thanks to the inspiration of your post. Blessings to you and your . . .

  7. Hey Jayne, I bought my first Carrie Underwood CD a couple of months ago, it has several songs that I love. I just love all kinds of music!

    P.S. How is the OTHER project coming along?

  8. Cordie, I can just see you swaggering from side to side as you listen to Patsy “belting it out.” What a tremendous talent! It’s so unfortunate that she died so young, but what a legacy! I bet she never thought that all these decades later, she’d have so many fans.

  9. Connie, My daughter Carrie likes her music too, so the two of you have inspired me to check her out. And yes, I know that you like several types of music. In fact, you’re the person who first pointed me to Charlotte Church…Norah Jones too (at least I think that was you).

    My other project is coming along “okay.” Thanks for asking.

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