Visiting Nashville: Grand Ole Opry features legendary performers and newcomers

In the center stage of the Grand Ole Opry is a special piece of wood. It is from the old Ryman Auditorium. “Can you imagine what it has seen?” asks Dan Rogers, marketing manager for the Opry. “If it could talk, think about all the legends it could tell about.” Over the years, thousands of performers have stood on this circle – Hank Williams, Jim Reeve, Patsy Cline, Porter Wagoner, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Garth Brooks, Johnny …

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Visiting Nashville: Known as ‘Home of 1,000 Hits,’ Studio B was a favorite of Elvis and other musicians

While most people were settling down for the night, Elvis Presley would slip into the nondescript building and sit at a well-worn piano. For the next couple hours, Elvis would warm up by harmonizing on gospel, often with the Jordanaires. Then he would get down to the serious business of recording songs. About the time the sun came up, Elvis would call it a night. “Elvis did most of his work here. He recorded 262 songs here, …

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Visiting Nashville: Johnny Cash Museum honors ‘The Man in Black’

When Bill Miller was 13 years old, he went to a Johnny Cash concert that changed the course of his life. “Johnny Cash played a harmonica and tossed it into the audience when he was done,” Miller said. “I caught it.” That was just the beginning. Over the years, Miller collected a treasure trove of Johnny Cash memorabilia and became friends with the legendary entertainer. “I honestly can’t tell you how many pieces I have. It’s in …

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Visiting Nashville: New Patsy Cline Museum showcases recently discovered personal items

Patsy Cline saved the memories of her life. That memorabilia, after being locked away for more than half a century, is now being seen at the new Patsy Cline Museum in Nashville. “Patsy Cline was very sentimental,” said museum founder Bill Miller. “I think people will be really surprised at what we have in the museum.” A 25-cent writing tablet filled with “biography” entries handwritten in red ink by Cline notes that as a youngster she “started …

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Visiting Nashville: County music legend George Jones honored at new museum

George Glenn Jones almost died before he got a chance to live. The family doctor dropped the baby shortly after delivery. The sturdy newborn survived with only a broken arm. But what a life the country music legend went on to live in that interval between the day he entered this world on Sept. 12, 1930, and the day he left on April 26, 2013. “George went to hell and back with many addictions and he beat …

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‘Come see what you’ve heard’ at Musicians Hall of Fame

When Joe Chambers discovered that Jimi Hendrix’s apartment from his seminal years in Nashville had been razed, he decided that the Tennessee city should not lose another piece of music history. “If people will make a trip to his grave in Seattle, why wouldn’t they go to see where he actually lived?” Chambers wondered. “That’s what really triggered me to having some kind of museum here.” When another of the Nashville clubs where a young Hendrix performed …

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1st modern riverboat in U.S. history, American Song, has departed on inagural cruise from New Orleans

American Song, the 1st modern riverboat in U.S. history, departed from the Port of New Orleans this past Saturday, October 6, 2018.  Underway at 100% capacity, this historic new riverboat is off to a great start and is cruising the Mississippi River on its 8-day inaugural sailing between New Orleans and Memphis.  American Song’s 184 guests are enjoying an unforgettable cruise with stops at Oak Alley, Baton Rouge, St. Francisville, Natchez, and Vicksburg, arriving in Memphis Friday, …

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Final Review of the Danube Waltz Cruise on the Viking Vilhjalm

The last morning on the Danube Waltz cruise came very early. Our departure point, the Munich Airport, requires a drive of about two hours. Viking sent us off with a pre-sunrise breakfast for those leaving in the wee hours. Our luggage was waiting on the dock, so we were reassured that ours would be loaded on the bus. Once at the airport, we made our way back to the states filled with memories of a cruise that …

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Passau, Germany: Three River City

ABOARD THE VIKING VILJHAM-The morning we arrived in Passau, I was suffering from allergies. Perhaps the beautiful flowering trees had upset my equilibrium. Rarely sick, I was sneezing like crazy, felt rotten and decided to spend the morning in bed. Beyond what I could see of the charming, colorful houses lining the river banks, John, and Wikipedia got the assignment to report on Passau. According to Wikipedia, “Passau, a German city on the Austrian border, lies at …

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Cesky Krumlov: Fantasy Town on the Vltava River

ABOARD THE VIKING VILJHAM– Today’s adventure takes us to Cesky Krumlov, slightly more than an hour and a half away from Linz, Austria where we are docked. Cesky Krumlov rates just a small and meek dot on the map of the Czech Republic – – politically inconsequential.  But she’s a mighty tourist cauldron, simmering a mixture of Medieval, Renaissance, baroque and rococo in a rich pilsner beer broth. And the kettle bubbles over. I first visited Cesky …

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