Feb 28, 2022 - Things to Do

Music Monday: celebrating Black History Month

The Fisk Jubilee Singers perform during the 2021 Americana Music Association Awards ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium.

The Fisk Jubilee Singers perform during the 2021 Americana Music Association Awards ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium. Photo: Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean/USA Today Network

👋 Nate here. My earlier stint as the music business reporter at the Tennessean served as an education in how African American artists altered the course of music history from right here in Nashville.

  • I was taught by Lorenzo Washington, curator of the Jefferson Street Sound Music Museum, about how that road was Nashville's original and authentic Music Row.
  • I learned how Dobie Gray recorded "Drift Away" in what was then called Quad Studios (now Sienna Studios) in Midtown.

Why it matters: We didn't want Black History Month to pass without paying respect to Nashville's heritage.

  • The very seeds of rock and roll were planted in Nashville when Little Richard played in clubs on Jefferson Street and up-and-coming guitarist Jimi Hendrix had a short stint as a hired hand in his band.
  • It's a history that stretches back to DeFord Bailey playing regularly on the Opry stage and one that continues today, with an artistic revolution in the country and Americana genres spearheaded by Black women like Mickey Guyton, Yola and Allison Russell.

This week's Music Monday playlist celebrates Black History Month in Nashville by featuring artists with ties to the city.

📬 Please follow our playlist on Spotify and reply to this email with song picks for future playlists!

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