Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking… you thought I’d end up on death row instead of music row, but you were wrong! I have just returned from a rather successful trip to the lovely city of Nashville, Tennessee! (Which, as some of you know, it actually the city of my birth… although many of the current residents are reluctant to discuss that fact!) In any case, this was my second venture out and about the USA, and I am happy to report that my literary popularity has not diminished since the dreaded virus reared its ugly head. Nashville is known as “Music City,” and for good reason… there is live music everywhere, and most of it is quite good. I was surprised to find a country & western trio in my shower, but hey, when in Rome…
Aside from promoting myself (which is a full-time job) I had the great pleasure of visiting with my two lovely aunts, Gladys and Thelma, the ruling matriarchs of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Both of my adorable aunts have lived in Mt. Juliet for over 55 years! In the same houses! (But neither had a trio of musicians in their shower.) While endearing myself to the locals, I had plenty of time to catch up with two of my wonderful cousins, Jimmy Deatrick and Lane Wilson. Jimmy is an enormously successful real estate agent with Crye-Leike, the 3rd largest realtor in the nation. He is actually a Vice-President of the corporation and has earned several professional designations, including CRA, CRS, and GRI. (I don’t know what any of those letters mean, but I’m still impressed!)
Lane Wilson has also done pretty good for himself… The young lad is a partner at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment and is responsible for negotiating major deals for many of the leading performers in the Nashville music scene. (He is also on the Board of Directors for the Academy of Country Music and Leadership Music.) Lane was kind enough to invite us to a live concert and record promotion party, but due to my advanced age (and Covid concerns) we had to pass. (That was the first time I had to pass on a free pass!)
Needless to say, I am quite proud of my cousins, and glad that someone in our family has finally made a success of themselves! Which reminds me, my new nonfiction history book, GONE BEFORE GLORY, is finally in the final stages of design and should be released shortly. I know it’s been a while, but as they say, good things are worth waiting for! In any case, the pre-publication reviews (from 2 major newspapers) have been wonderful, so get ready for another great summer read.
Incidentally, for those of you who are collecting material for my biography, I should mention that we stayed at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville. This is the grand dame of the city, and a truly lovely venue located downtown. Hopefully, you will scroll down and take a look at our room. (the shower musicians did not want to be photographed.) I have also included (hopefully) some photos of Music Row and our favorite stop, Andrew Jackson’s home. (which, oddly enough, is also called the Hermitage!)
By the way, the large red-brick building is Ryman Auditorium, the “cathedral of country music.” We were given a private tour of the music hall, and it is quite impressive. Every major country and western star (except for my shower musicians) has appeared on the Ryman stage over the last 50 years or so. If you intend to visit Nashville, I strongly suggest that you order tickets online before you go, because the city was packed with tourists.
Later this year I will be starting a funding drive to purchase my boyhood home, and hopefully, turn it into a major tourist attraction. Hey, if Elvis is in Memphis, why shouldn’t I be in Nashville? Fair is fair, right?
All right, you hound dogs, that’s about it for now. I have some exciting news to share on my next blog (something great about a MAJOR book-signing event) but you will just have to wait for the details! Until then, please continue to be safe and take care! Love to all,