Music at the heart of Nashville’s booming economy

Global Business

To find out how U.S. voters are faring ahead of the big election, a team of CCTV America’s journalists hit the road and stopped in some all-American cities. In Nashville, Tennessee, Sean Callebs found out that the economic beat goes on no matter what’s happening in Washington.

In good times and bad since 1925 in Nashville, the famed Grand Ole Opry has been a staple, an economic linchpin for the city.

On this night, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn bring their brand of old fashioned bluegrass to this hallowed hall.

Fleck, who is one of the most accomplished banjo musicians anywhere, moved to Nashville, when disco was fading and heavy metal was in its infancy back in 1981. Through it all, he’s watched Nashville flourish.

“The first year when I came here, everyone said Nashville is exploding in 1981, and they have been saying that ever since. So it never changes. It is part of Nashville for me,” he said.

It’s the state capital that embraces history, in many ways thriving on it. Take Hatch Show Print, for example. They create posters the way it was done 100 years ago, mixing ink by hand and examining every poster. It’s little imperfections part of the real treasure country music and Hatch have a history that is intertwined.

“It’s not just country. Nashville is so centrally located. A lot of musicians on tour would come through Nashville and they could get their posters done. A day’s drive in major cities in the U.S.,” said Cathy Grucella from Hatch Show Print.

Nashville is riding the crest of the economic recovery. It has a broad financial base that includes healthcare, higher education and distribution, but the music industry is the glue that holds this city’s economy together.

“The music community begins a lot of creative people here. They are idea makers. Jobs are created because people are moving here,” said Ralph Schulz, the Nashville Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber of Commerce said you can see the activity on the city’s major thoroughfare and tourists. As the United States approaches the important mid-term election and Nashville basks in the glow of a healthy economy education and transportation, connecting people to this rapidly growing city are the major issues with voters.

George Gruhn arguably knows more about stringed instruments than anyone. He’s been selling vintage and new instruments for 45 years. ” It’s growing like a weed, and Nashville is a totally different looking city than it was when I came to town. I came to Nashville in 1969,” he said, “Nashville does have a very healthy economy right now, and it is a remarkable diversified economy. I have considerable faith in it continuing, but I am not sure that there won’t be bumps in the road.”

He’s optimistic enough to believe that Nashville’s broad based economy is well positioned to help navigate around those bumps. Therefore, if health care, car manufacturing and tourism take a hit, the music city has something it can always bank on.