Nashville earned the name Music City in the first half of the twentieth century and spent the next sixty years making good on that world-famous nickname. The term was coined by WSM radio announcer David Cobb in 1950 as he surveyed a town full of recording artists, songwriters and publishers who spanned all music, from classical, pop and jazz to country, bluegrass and gospel. As music spread via radio, recordings, television, the internet, satellite radio and wireless devices, Nashville has evolved along with the industry and always been a center for the creative core of the business – songwriting and record production. The city’s studio infrastructure is as good as any in the world, and too often hidden from view Nashville logitics companies – bus companies, case companies, instrument technicians and the like – keep the city’s $6 billion music industry on the road and in the groove.
The 21st century has been full of challenges and chaotic with change. But Music City’s deep talent pool of record executives, producers, song pluggers, video directors and others is adapting and launching new business models. The world has noticed, with one nationally known sociologist/economist dubbing Nashville the “Silicon Valley” of music and counting more than twice the music business experts per capita as any other city. With festivals as big and diverse as Bonnaroo and the CMA Music Festival on top of a vibrant downtown music venue scene, Nashville is truly a complete Music City.
For a detailed history of Nashville’s music business, click HERE.