Years ago, under happier circumstance, I had the chance to visit Nashville, TN and the Bluebird Cafe.
Actually located closer to nearby Brentwood than Nashville, the Bluebird struck me as remarkable place precisely because it seemed so typical. Opened along a nondescript strip mall just off a major artery out of the city, the Bluebird boasted cramped tables, and only mediocre food. Not at all what one would expect from a famous restaurant.
Of course, the real hallmark of the venue was its legend among country music artists. In many ways, the Bluebird Cafe is to country music what the Apollo Theater is to Jazz- an unexpected, musical sacred center.
Opened in the early 1980s, the Bluebird Cafe quickly became home to a regular gathering of music artists who provided live music for the restaurant’s tiny stage. Eventually, some of these artists would go on to net major recording contracts with record labels across Music City. Famous names include song writing ace Paul Overstreet and country music legend Garth Brooks.
The rest, as they say, is history. As a venue, the small cafe soon became a mainstay of country music lore.
At any rate, I was saddened to learn a few months back that the cafe’s future was in jeopardy as its owners mulled retirement. Fortunately, news on the wires this week is that the cafe has earned a reprieve.
According to the Tennessean, the cafe will be purchased by the Nashville Songwriters Association International and will remain in operation for years to come.