For almost a century, Nashville has been the undisputed capital of country music. Although other cities such as Austin and Branson have become significant culturally significant for movements and subgenres like outlaw country and alt country, Nashville remains the home of country music. If you want to make it big in the country, Nashville Tennessee is the place for you.
This being the case, the city of Nashville has attracted some of the biggest names in country music over the years. Whether they come to record their albums, perform in one of Nashville’s many well-known venues or make Nashville their home and base of operations, no country star can resist the enticing aura of the Country Music Capital. So let's look at some of the country music legends that live or have lived in Nashville Tennessee!
Any country music connoisseur worth his salt knows of Waylon Jennings. A brilliant and beloved country music artist in his own right, he was also a member of the Highwaymen and released many influential tracks that shaped the sound and perception of country music for decades. Sitting on the stage with a lit cigarette stuck in the neck of his guitar, he would play his guitar and sing of love, heartbreak, death and life, all themes that would come to dominate outlaw country.
Jennings first moved to Nashville in 1965, renting an apartment with the legendary Johnny Cash and playing a number of gigs around the country. Although at first he only experienced moderate success, his first hit album Leavin’ Town marked a turning point in his career and established him as an up and coming country musician.
Throughout the next couple of years, Jennings struggled with Amphetamine addiction, and severe bout of hepatitis that left him unable to perform. After his recovery from hepatitis and several changes of managers, Jennings found massive success with his albums
Lonesome, O’nry and Mean and Honky Tonk Heroes. These albums were monumental in establishing the outlaw country sound heralded by the likes of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and other influential country musicians of the era.
Johnny Cash is a man who needs no introduction. With dozens of iconic songs like Ring of Fire, I Walk the Line and Sunday Morning Coming Down, Johnny Cash is perhaps the most well-known country musician of all time. His iconic appearance dressed all in black with a well-worn guitar hanging from the strap around his neck, “the Man in Black” really was the man. Even in the sphere of pop culture, his sombre, brooding demeanor and looks cemented him in his position as the face of country music.
Always enigmatic, his grave, serious persona belied his more humorous sensibilities; songs such as One Piece at a Time and A Boy Named Sue are enough to make even the most stone-faced country fan crack a lopsided grin.
Cash’s history in Nashville was tumultuous and fraught with personal and professional troubles. As his first marriage to Vivian Liberto was falling apart due to his drug and alcohol abuse, Cash traveled from Memphis to Nashville to play the Grand Ole’ Opry. With this milestone behind him, Cash began his troubled but meteoric ascent to his now fabled status as perhaps the most famed country musician of all time.
Unfortunately for Cash, his move to Nashville also saw his problems with drugs and alcohol worsen. As his touring and recording schedules became more and more demanding, cash came to rely increasingly heavily on amphetamines and hard liquor. He was arrested numerous times while drunk or under the effects of drugs, and even unwittingly started a forest fire in a national park. After years of his continued substance abuse, his first wife filed for divorce, leaving the singer even more deeply scarred and dysfunctional.
Despite his troubled personal life, Johnny Cash is still remembered as one of the greatest country singers to have ever lived, and his personal style and sound left an indelible mark on the way country music is perceived by pop culture.
Willie Nelson is fondly revered by country fandom as one of the less audacious members of the outlaw country movement, while still remaining an integral part of it. With his softer, more sonorously pleasing voice and open, kindly demeanor, he comes off as more of a jovial uncle than a fierce and fiery outlaw. Nonetheless, alongside the likes of the cavalier Waylon Jennings and the angry, rebellious Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson is still a cornerstone of the Nashville country sound and culture.
Willie’s is among the most unique performers Nashville has seen, with a distinct style that belies his jazz, rock and soul influences. His iconic tracks such as On the Road Again and Mommas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys are still played by those seeking a mellow, relaxed country sound free of the more troubled themes of outlaw country.
Although WIllie has had his fair share of domestic issues, they differ significantly from those typically plague musicians and other performers. In his relationships, he has actually been the victim of abusive partners more than once. As far as drugs and alcohol are concerned, WIllie hasn’t struggled with hard drug addiction, although he is very vocal about his fondness for Marijuana.
Given that Nashville Tennessee is the home of country music, it would make sense that many country stars would make it their main base of operations. Although many of the houses of country legends like Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings are no longer open to the public, there are still many country stars whose homes you can see today!
Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and many other famous stars call Nashville home. If you’re looking to buy a celebrity home, or just live in the same neighborhood where famous country musicians you’ll need to find real estate agents in Nashville TN. For the low, low price of around a half a million dollars or more, you could be rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest country music legends of Nashville!