Music Row is an area just to the southwest of Downtown Nashville, Tennessee that is home to hundreds of businesses related to the country musicgospel music, and Contemporary Christian music industries. Centered around 16th and 17th Avenues South (called Music Square East and Music Square West, respectively, within the Music Row area), along with several side streets, Music Row is widely considered the heart of Nashville’s entertainment industry. In this area, one will find the offices of numerous record labels, publishing houses, music licensing firms, recording studios, video production houses, along with other business who serve the music industry, as well as radio networks, radio stations and Nashville Music GroupMusicRow Magazine has been a music industry resource reporting on the location for over 30 years.[1] Lacy J. Dalton had a hit song in the 1980’s, about one of the streets. Sometimes the words “Music Row” are used as a metonymous nickname for the country music industry as a whole, just as “Madison Avenue” often refers to the advertising industry.

Points of interest

Historical sites such as RCA‘s famed Studio B, where hundreds of famous musicians have recorded, are situated on Music Row. Country music entertainers Roy Acuff and Chet Atkins are memorialized with streets named in their honor in the area. The Country Music Hall of Fame was once located at the corner of Music Square East and Division Street, but the building has since been torn down and the museum moved to a new state-of-the-art building eleven blocks away in Downtown Nashville in 2001. One area of Music Row, along Demonbreun Street, was once littered with down-market tourist attractions and vanity “museums” of various country music stars. These began to disappear in the late 1990s after the closing of Opryland USA theme park (and subsequent reduction of tourist traffic) and the announced move of the Hall of Fame. The strip sat largely vacant for a few years, but has been recently redeveloped with a number of upscale restaurants and bars serving the Downtown and Music Row areas.

At the confluence of Demonbreun Street, Division Street, 16th Avenue South, and Music Square East is the “Music Row Roundabout,” a circular intersection designed to accommodate a continuous flow of traffic. Flanking the intersection to the west is Owen Bradley Park, a very small park dedicated to notable songwriter, performer, and publisher Owen Bradley. Within the park is a life-size statue of Bradley behind a piano. Inside the roundabout is a large statue (“Musica“) depicting nude dancers. The statue was the subject of a controversy upon its 2003 unveiling, spurred by religious, parenting groups, and other organizations who were offended by the portrayal of the nude human forms in the statue. At the other end of Music Row, across Wedgewood Avenue sits the Belmont University campus, and Vanderbilt University is also adjacent to the area. Belmont is of particular note because of its Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business (CEMB), part of Belmont University and a major program in its commercial music performance division.