In the late 1800s, after the Civil War, an all-black a cappella group, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, earned Nashville its moniker, “Music City,” and paved the way for generations (and genres) of music to come. Honky-tonk tunes may have put country on the map, but a smoother subset, the iconic “Nashville Sound,” emerged in the 1950s thanks to Historic RCA Studio B, spearheaded by acts that went on to become household names. Johnny Cash, who has his own dedicated museum, rose to prominence in the following decade. Want to experience country music’s past and present concurrently? Take a daytime tour of the 125-year-old Ryman Auditorium—its impressive Soul of Nashville theater experience debuted in 2015 as part of a $14 million renovation. Then head over to the Grand Ole Opry for a show and VIP backstage tour, where you’ll watch the red curtain rise from your perch on the stage.
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