Last time I was in Nashville, I decided to indulge in a little tourism. So I booked myself on the Walkin’ Nashville tour hosted by the journalist, musician and songwriter Bill DeMain. It was great fun and most informative! Bill is a real expert on the history of country music and puts his knowledge across with humour and warmth. We started at the statue of Chet Atkins on the corner of Fifth Avenue North and Union Street, where Bill began with the story of country’s fight-back against rock and roll in the late-1950s; in Printer’s Alley, we heard the tale of club owner Skull Schulman’s 1998 brutal murder, which took place there – wait, was that the ghostly apparition of a tall, thin man in rhinestones we saw disappear around the corner?
Moving on, we passed by the Country Music Hall of Fame and stopped to admire its architectural references to piano keys and musical notes; then, after stopping in the alley that many an Opry star must have slipped down on their furtive way there from the back door of the Ryman Auditorium, we ended at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Broadway.
Bill is a connoisseur of vintage western shirts, so when he asked me to make for him, I suggested digging out one of my collection of vintage patterns. He picked out Simplicity 4703, from the early 1960s. And because it’s hot out there on the streets of Nashville, I shortened the sleeve and added a piped cuff to it.
He also asked for a western-themed print. Not my thing usually, but when I found this guitar print with western touches, I fell in love. I specially like the tiny cacti on the guitar headstocks.
To find out more about Walkin’ Nashville Music City Legends Tour, go to Bill’s website.
You might even get to see him in his Dandy & Rose shirt!