NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The downtown Nashville, Tenn., record store that was opened by Opry legend Ernest Tubb in 1947 and has been a landmark in country music for decades decades, will close as the building comes up for sale.
Owners of the Ernest Tubb Record Shop said in a statement Friday that they were heartbroken that the store, which has stood at its current location on Broadway since 1951, will close in the spring. The building and store are owned by Honky Tonk Circus, LLC and the David McCormick Company, Inc.
“Our goal has always been to protect, promote and preserve the great history of the record store and the building. That desire remains as strong today as ever,” the owners said in a statement. “However, due to changed circumstances beyond our control, it is now clear that the best course of action is to sell the business and the property.”
The record store was the original home of the Midnite Jamboree, a late-night radio show airing after the Grand Ole Opry radio show and would feature performers crossing the street from the Ryman auditorium to the store. discs to continue performing in front of a live audience. It often featured up-and-coming new artists showcasing their songs and the shop was well known for stocking a wide variety of country records.
The store, which sits next to several of Nashville’s famous honky-tonk clubs, was an oft-photographed institution, with its enormous guitar hanging out front with the neck pointing upwards and a spinning sign. At its peak, the store had 100,000 mail-order customers and even expanded to several stores in other cities. But the city’s historic downtown area has changed dramatically in recent years, with many buildings replaced by bars, restaurants and other celebrity-themed tourist attractions.
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