Nashville is one of those cities that changes depending on where you are standing. You can be on one corner and it is a completely different city two blocks over. This is Honky Tonk Row, and I pretty much bet that anyone who has never been to Nashville would think this is what the city is all about. Actually, this is only a little over two city blocks. One block past this area is a park on the Cumberland River, and three blocks up the hill to the left and you are in the middle of the Tennessee state government. A couple of miles to the southwest and you are at Vanderbilt University.
That said, this is what tourists go to Nashville for. By late afternoon this area was bumper to bumper tourists. Because the three sites we wanted to visit were in this area, we had to take in a honky tonk or two.
Every restaurant/bar/honky tonk had a live band, and the place was noisy. It was also a lot of fun.
Besides the Tennessee State Museum and the Country Music Hall of Fame, we wanted to see the Johnny Cash Museum. As you might imagine there was a lot of black suits, though many of them were far from plain, as you can see above. Most of the stage costumes from Cash and his wife June Carter were from the 1970s , during the time he had a TV variety show. As such, Carter’s costumes were, frankly a bit too polyester for my taste.
Interestingly, there were no clothing items from early in June Carter’s career. The dress above is vintage early 1960s, but it was worn not by Carter, but by actress Reece Witherspoon when she portrayed Carter in the 2005 movie of the relationship of Cash and Carter, I Walk the Line.
I’ve been meaning to rewatch that film because of an interesting mend on the arms of the dress. Can you tell that there are multiple rows of machine stitching? I suppose a supporting fabric was put beneath and then the dress stitched to it. There was no attempt to hide the mend, and I’ve got to wonder if the dress was damaged while filming. Or perhaps, the film was cleverly edited to hide the mends.
Even Cash’s boots were black. These were custom made boots from Acme Boots. He was pictured in Acme ads in the early 1980s.
Between the Honky Tonks and cowboy boot stores, there are a few gift shops. When traveling to a new place I have to always go into at least one so I can find the “gift” that is unique to that city. These cowboy boot socks might just be that unique item.
Or maybe these Elvis pajamas are the thing, but I’m betting you can also pick these up in Memphis.
But back to the real purpose of the trip – vintage clothing shopping. I didn’t take many photos of the big sale I attended because I was too busy looking, and I have no idea how I got a photo without other buyers in it. This was a tiny, tiny bit of this massive sale. It had been a very long day (and wait) and so by the end of it I was exhausted. I did find enough wonderful things to have made the trip worthwhile, and I’ll be sharing them from time to time.
There are some places we’ve traveled to that we return to again and again. Nashville is not going to be one of them, that is unless another big sale comes along.