Patsy Cline Museum

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Let’s go back to Nashville, shall we?

One of the best decisions I made during my last visit to Nashville was to check out the Patsy Cline Museum. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing to go there. My original plan to tour the Ryman was impeded by a matinee interfering with afternoon tours. There are  many museums in town but I couldn’t get out of my head the idea that I needed to see the Patsy Cline Museum.

It’s on the second floor of the Johnny Cash Museum. By the way, that one was a madhouse – noisy and with people standing everywhere. In comparison, the Patsy museum was a bastion of quiet, sophistication and the smooth sounds of Patsy’s voice.

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This isn’t a large museum but it’s extremely well done and there appears to be room for growth as they acquire more pieces for the collection. They have some stage costumes (made by her mother and beautifully done), furnishings from her her home and even a booth from the soda fountain where she worked as a young woman. Costume jewelry, the watch she was wearing when she died and lots of music can be found here.

A jukebox plays “Crazy” on a loop and a video tells her life story.

It’s all very well done and tells her story, which is quite old now, in a way that feels timeless – much like her music.

I was torn because the experience was so pleasant with only a handful of other visitors in the museum during my visit while other attractions like the Cash museum downstairs, had lines out the door. I hope their attendance picks up and that they’re able to survive. The thought of a Patsy Cline museum not surviving in Nasvhille is shameful.

Want to go? Get more details here.

 

 

I’m Trying To Learn Guitar

50122867_10209864476286980_4255696743565361152_nMusic is one of the best things this life offers. Today I mostly listen to records and play around on the internet looking for old tunes time has forgotten.

But I took piano lessons when I was a kid and also picked up alto sax, flute and clarinet. It’s been a lot of years since abandoning most of those but I kept up with the piano sort of half heartedly until just a few years ago. I still have a piano in my home but life is busy and it’s been so long since I played regularly that I’ve pretty much lost my way.

A pal, who is an expert guitar player, suggested that I give the guitar a try and was kind enough to help me get started, trading me a guitar for some records. I demanded that he teach me a few things as well.

So for the last few weeks I’ve been working with what he showed me as well as with a nice little Hal Leonard book. My approach is to practice a little every day and now have some really sore fingers to prove it.

Sadly, my technique is not improving. I’m attempting to learn “Ode To Joy” but the results aren’t very joyful at this time.

I’ll keep trying.

It’s fun to learn new things although I really hate being bad at something. That should be incentive to keep working at it but it’s easy to become frustrated. My friend tells me that every time you see someone who is good at guitar, that person has spent a period of time – maybe even a lifetime – living with their instrument.

If that’s what it takes, my job and other interests will probably interfere with my future as a rockstar. Nonetheless, it’s good to try new things.

 

Sun Studio

Sun Studios (6).JPGTalking about the National Civil Rights Museum reminded me of my trip to Nashville and Memphis. It was a whirlwind trip of music, classic cars and barbeque and it seemed like everything I did was my favorite thing.

But truly, one of the highlights was the day at Sun Studio in Memphis. Sun Studio is a landmark in Memphis and in music. Known as the “Birthplace of Rock and Roll,” Sun is like a time capsule where you can stand at the microphone Elvis used and where the voices of  music legends echo through the halls.

This is where the Million Dollar Quartet spent a December day in 1956 just playing around and where someone was smart enough to record portions of the music created that day by Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Howlin’ Wolf and BB King recorded here too along with a host of others.

It’s a guided tour and it was packed the day we were there. It seems like the tour lasted about an hour and they give everyone time to step up to the Elvis mic. Some people have their picture taken kissing the microphone. I did not. Ick! The germs!

If you go, they recommend getting there about twenty minutes before your desired tour. They sell some light snacks and ice cream plus they have t-shirts, music and other souvenirs. Admission is $14 for adults and, if you’re into that kind of thing, it’s worth every dollar. Want to plan a visit to Sun Studio?  Click here. 

One of these days I’ll tell you more about this trip and some of the other fun things you can do in Memphis.