What did people not tell you about living in Nashville, TN that you had to find out yourself?
I’m a native, I’m not sure I can answer this question in the same way that someone would who has moved here from somewhere else. When you are born and raised in a place, nobody really tells you anything about the place (except in history class), so you really have to find out everything. But it doesn’t feel like ‘finding out‡ anything, it’s just the osmosis of growing up here.There have been times when the local media have really pushed our status as ‘Music City USA.‡ And if you come here from somewhere else, your preconceptions are probably that the country music industry is a big part of life here. And there really is a lot of music. So as I grew up and watched local TV, listened to local radio, and read local papers, I had that impression too. But as I found out as I got old enough to start seeing the city through my own eyes, I learned that in practical terms, only a very small percentage of people who live here work in that field. Though it’s true that a lot of the influx to the city is of people who want to make it big in music, especially country music. And the number of available jobs just isn’t big enough to support their dreams. This leads to an old joke: How do you get a songwriter off your porch? Pay for your pizza.Here’s something that I also picked up on through the course of growing up here: Before we were Music City, we were the Athens of the South. In that vein, there are quite a few institutions of higher learning here. And we have a full-size replica of the Parthenon. But that’s not particularly hidden, it’s just eclipsed by the music.We could also possibly claim to have briefly been the insurance capital of the southeast US, as two very prominent businesses here in the mid-to-late 20th century were National Life and Accident Insurance Co., and Life and Casualty Insurance Co. Some of our major media outlets were started as investments by these companies, including WSM and WLAC radio, and later TV stations (having changed hands, now known as WSMV and WTVF respectively). WSM was chosen as call letters to reflect the slogan of National Life, “We Shield Millions,” and WLAC was for “Life And Casualty.” I’m not sure we still hold that position with respect to the insurance industry, but we sure did back then. If you didn’t live here during those times, you probably wouldn’t ever have occasion to know that, and it’s not something that people will bother to tell you.