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by S. Parks

You’ll soon be able to visit the “Wagon Wheel” (Darius) on Broadway with the “Boys ‘Round Here” (Blake) and “Get Your Shine On” (FL/GA Line) and “Beat This Summer” (Brad) when you “Crash My Party” (Luke) until you’re “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” (Randy) because “Love is Everything” (King George). That’s country hit song code for “The CMA Fest is almost here”.

The dozens of “60 for 60” signs that lined Music Row every few feet brought a warmth and appreciation for not only George Strait but for what we do - country music.  The display seemed to open the door for the busy week to come when Music City welcomes thousands of fans from around the world.  

As George was celebrating being the first music artist in history to achieve sixty number one singles at the age of sixty, the entire city was celebrating along with him.  At the Grammy Block Party at Owen Bradley Park on Music Row, Storme Warren welcomed Will Hoge, Kristen Kelly, Rhett Walker Band, Kip Moore and other artists, several of which were thankful for being in the show after watching from the audience last year.  Downtown, the CMT All-New Hot 20 Countdown TV Show was in production followed by a video taping event of performances by Darius Rucker, Kasey Musgraves and Jason Aldean close by at Centerstage. Then, of course, the hit TV series, “Nashville” is always filming all over town.

Love and Theft joined David Nail at The Tin Roof, concerts were being held at Centenniel Park, the Johnny Cash Museum finally opened, the streets of lower Broadway magically turned into Margaritaville in honor of Jimmy Buffet’s visit and the Music City Guitar Show at the Fairgrounds brought treasure-hunting pickers and players from all over..  

Covering sixteen acres in the middle of downtown, the grand opening of The Music City Center, under construction for three years, was next on the list of celebrations. Housing the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and massive space for events of all types, the final touches were being added to welcome the CMA Fest attendees to the upcoming “Fanfair meet and greet” section of the CMA Fest.  

Of course, every venue in town is hosting a country artist in anticipation of the CMA Festival to come. Tents are going up, streets are being closed, parties are being planned, artists are in rehearsal, food vendors are stocking up, shops are putting out souvenirs and Nashville will be ready to become “Fanville” for the next week. If you’re going, email me, the CMNI Nashville correspondent, and we may use your comments in Country Music News International!  After all, it’s all about the fans, and that’s you!     email S. Parks in Nashville at musicmusicmusic100@hotmail.com

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