Lovesick Blues: Music and Nostalgia on Lower Broadway, Nashville, Tennessee

Lovesick Blues: Music and Nostalgia on Lower Broadway, Nashville, Tennessee

Timon Kaple
Indiana University


There are a handful of city blocks in Nashville, Tennessee, that constitute the area known as “Lower Broadway” on Broadway Avenue. Known as the city’s premier hotspot for live music, this area attracts a wide variety of patrons: regulars, locals, and tourists.  What brings them together is a mental concept of “Old Nashville,” rooted in feelings of nostalgia and romanticization for the city’s golden era, which I broadly define as the mid-1920s through mid-1960s.

The most important reason why I chose Lower Broadway as a research area, and the one that is most relevant to this study, is that it is a crossroads for listeners’ musical and bodily interpretations of authenticity in country music.  In other words, Lower Broadway is site where it is important for performers to look and sound like the real thing.  What is the real thing, and how does one perform this ideal authenticity?  Additionally, who is in search of this Nashville authenticity? Continue reading “Lovesick Blues: Music and Nostalgia on Lower Broadway, Nashville, Tennessee”


From the Editor

Dear Reader,

Folklore Forum is pleased to present in this issue proceedings from the second annual collaborative conference between the Indiana University Folklore and Ethnomusicology Student Associations and The Ohio State University Folklore Student Association. The 2009 conference took place at Indiana University on March 27-28 and featured papers and posters centered on the theme of the negotiation of the public and the private.

In this second issue based upon the proceedings of the IU/OSU graduate student conference, Folklore Forum will bring its readers more of the exciting and innovative work of today’s graduate students in folklore and will continue to explore the possibilities provided by our online publishing model.

In addition to papers from this conference, this issue includes a poster with an extended contextualizing abstract, which we hope will provide the basis for involved discussion of the fieldwork being presented as a kind of continuation of the poster session in which it was presented.

We hope that papers will engender as much discussion on this forum as posters and offer a study of the negotiation of performance in terms of genre and ethnic and linguistic identity by two Afghan storytellers as a particularly stimulating basis for such discussion. A version of this study won the 2009 Dan Crowley Memorial Research Prize from the Storytelling Section of the American Folklore Society.

The theme of the public and the private is taken up most strongly in an ethnomusicological paper about dichotomies in mainline protestant worship music. This paper examines the public/private dichotomy alongside others such as traditional/contemporary, routinized/charismatic, and Appolonian/Dyonisian, which have been brought to bear on the study of religion through one church’s musical choices in its two weekly services.

New media publishing is brought to the fore in an article about fan response and specifically fan-produced videos that arose in response to 2008’s Internet-circulated Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Forum is pleased to provide its readership with not only descriptions of the videos at issue, but the videos themselves.

We here at Folklore Forum had hoped to bring to our readers an experience of the conference beyond the papers and posters prepared specifically for it. Unfortunately, our efforts to include the roundtable discussion with which the conference closed and the keynote address were plagued with technical difficulties and cannot be presented. We are already working to remedy these problems with regards to the issue that will be based on the third iteration of this conference that will take place at The Ohio State University on April 2 and 3, 2010.

Once again we invite our readers to make use of our forum to continue the dialogue that these articles initiate.

Monica Foote
Editor, Folklore Forum