NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The downtown Nashville, Tennessee record store that was opened by Opry legend Ernest Tubb in 1947 and has been a landmark in country music for decades will close as the building is being put up for sale.
The owners of the Ernest Tubb Record Shop said in a statement on Friday they were heartbroken that the store, which has been in its current location on Broadway since 1951, will close in the spring. The building and store is owned by the 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 shop and building. That desire remains as strong today as ever,” the owners said in a statement. “However, due to changes in circumstances out of our control, it’s now clear the best way forward is to sell the business and the real estate.”
The record store was the original home of the Midnite Jamboree, a late-night radio show that aired after the Grand Ole Opry radio broadcast and would feature artists who crossed the street from the Ryman Auditorium to the record shop to keep playing 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 is next to several of Nashville’s famed honky-tonk clubs, was an institution often photographed, with its huge guitar hanging out front with the neck pointed upward and a revolving sign. In its heyday, the store had 100,000 mail-order customers and even expanded to multiple stores in other cities. But the city’s historic downtown area has drastically changed in recent years with many buildings being replaced with celebrity-themed bars, restaurants and other tourist-centered attractions.
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