After our escapades in the Honky Tonks, there was one more unusual thing we had lined up – visiting a record factory! (As in Record, as in LPs, as in Vinyl). As we rushed to our early morning appointment at the factory, I must mention that was passed a Fraternity House! I have never seen one in real life and kinda assumed they were mythical things from movies- but I saw one!
We visited United Records on the outskirts of Nashville. The guide was humorous and we were given a tour of the factory where we could see up-close the machines that melt, mould, and cut vinyl records. The factory workers even made us a rose out of the cast-off vinyl!
Visiting a factory is perhaps a strange thing to do on holiday, but I’m so glad we went as it was fab! We heard stories about the most bizarre records made (someone asked for 2 vinyl records with a pint of their blood sandwiched in the middle!). They also showed us the old flat above the factory where black artists like Stevie Wonder came to stay when they were in town to record music, as although it is unfathomable now, in those days black people were not welcome in the hotels so some black artists stayed there. They have left the flat exactly as it was then, so there is an excellent vintage kitchen and lounge! Apparently vinyl is more popular now than ever, so they are doing well! [Tip: The tours are only on Fridays at 11am, so ensure you are in Nashville then if you want a tour! ]
After that we headed for Grand Ole Opry, where country music became popular through being televised. It was closed so after peering through the door we explored the large Opry Mills shopping mall which was cool (and even had outdoor shops selling guns! I was pleased to see they took safety really seriously, but it was still shocking to see real life Guns!).
We had fun exploring the nearby posh hotel Gaylord Opryland, which was pretty impressive – it is basically a massive glasshouse, containing waterfalls, fountains, a rainforest, and even a boat going round it.
Next post: Jack Daniels, Lynchberg, USA
Previous post: Broadway, Nashville, USA