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Founded in 1947 by Grand Ole Opry star Ernest Tubb, the music store is a one-stop shop for country and bluegrass sheet music, records and memorabilia. This charming store offers a wide variety of works by contemporary and classic artists. The store is famous for stocking obscure and forgotten musicians as well as their ability to locate hard-to-find releases. With its creaking hardwood floors and walls lined with autographed photos, the Ernest Tubb Record Shop is an essential stop for people interested in Nashville’s rich homespun cultural legacy.
The more things change, the more they stay the same—an adage that perfectly describes Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville. Founded by Grand Ole Opry star Ernest Dale Tubb in 1947, this one-of-a-kind record shop specializes in selling country music CDs, DVDs, books and more. And while you’d be hard-pressed to find vinyl records anywhere anymore, much of what this treasure trove of hillbilly music store sells is just that.
At the time of its founding, Ernest Tubb’s shop sold only through the mail—a real feat considering that they were mailing out highly fragile 78s, of which a large percentage arrived to the customer in pieces. But that’s where Tubb took his promise of customer satisfaction to a level that no one else at the time (or possibly ever) reached, replacing each and every one without so much as a wink. Tubb’s mission with his record store was to help country music fans enjoy their favorite tunes, and his dedication to serving them included helping track down hard-to-find-albums and keeping a large stock of obscure and hardly known hits, as well as all the chart-toppers.
Founded as an avenue for advertising his mail-order business, the Midnight Jamboree, Ernest Tubb’s radio show, was broadcast out of his shop every Saturday night after the Grand Ole Opry. The multi-show act was a way for young artists to perform after the Opry and gain exposure in the industry. Today, the Midnight Jamboree is still going strong and is the second-longest radio show in history.
For more than 60 years, Ernest Tubb Record Shop has been the one-stop shop for country music enthusiasts and expanded to include several locations. Tubb’s original goal, to be the ultimate source of all things country music while providing a real personalized experience, continues to this day, carried on by a dedicated and diverse staff who’s required to have two important skills—the ability to answer any question about country music and the devotion to help customers find what they’re looking for.
When you step inside Ernest Tubb Record Shop on Broadway, you’ll feel as if you’ve traveled back in time. And whether you’re a fan of the genre or not, you’ll be awed by the wall-to-wall vintage autographed album covers and headshots, books, memorabilia and the massive selection of country, bluegrass and hillbilly music. You’ll find that the staff is friendly and eager to talk to you about all things country—and will even help you try to figure out the title of a song or who sings it.
Located on Broadway Street, Ernest Tubb Record Shop is in the heart of downtown Nashville, surrounded by a variety of interesting shops, honky tonks and live music venues, restaurants and much more. Here are a few must-see sights just footsteps away: