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Tootsie's Orchid Lounge is a honky-tonk bar located in Nashville, Tennessee behind the Ryman Auditorium, home in past years and occasionally in the present to the legendary stage and radio show The Grand Ole Opry. Tootsie's has three stages that host live local talent each night, covering modern-day country music artists such as Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift, and other performers, as well as original work.Some of its early famous first customers were Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, Mel Tillis, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Roger Miller and numerous other country musicians. According to the bar's website, Nelson received his first songwriting gig after singing at Tootsie's. Terri Clark, a Canadian-born country artist, started singing at Tootsie's in 1987. and has since become an internationally-known country star with hits such as "Better Things to Do," and the Warren Zevon cover, "Poor Poor Pitiful Me."
Originally named Mom's, Hattie Louise "Tootsie" Bess bought the future honky-tonk in 1960. The name came later when, to her surprise, a painter made the exterior of the lounge purple. Subsequently, the name was changed to Tootsie's Orchid Lounge and, to date, the exterior of the building still is painted the same color. Tootsie was known to slip five-dollar and ten-dollar bills into the pockets of luckless songwriters and guitar pickers. It was said that she maintained a cigar box behind the counter full of IOUs from when she had given drinks and food to hungry writers and pickers. Supposedly, at each year's end, a number of Opry performers took all the IOUs and paid Tootsie on the writers' and musicians' behalf, so she would not lose the money. At her 1978 funeral were Nashville luminaries Tom T. Hall, Roy Acuff and Faron Young. She was buried in an orchid gown, with an orchid placed in the orchid-colored casket, so she could take her favorite flower to heaven. Legendary Opry artist Connie Smith, by then emphasizing Southern gospel music, sang some of Tootsie's favorite hymns at the funeral.
Despite the move of the Opry out of the Ryman in 1974 to the newly-built Grand Ole Opry House several miles to the east of downtown, Tootsie's survived the lean years afterward, usually surrounded by disreputable businesses such as adult entertainment and pawn shops, and continued to be a center for traditional 1950s and 1960s-style country performances and a gathering place for songwriters and others in the business. It stayed around long enough to witness a renaissance, beginning in the 1990s, of the music and tourist scene along Broadway and of the Ryman itself, which began hosting some Opry shows again after an extensive renovation. These brought new customers to Tootsie's, many of whom are tourists who make it a regular stop on their visits to Nashville, or simply locals on a night out.
On November 7, 2010, Tootsie's celebrated its 50th anniversary with performances at the Ryman Auditorium from Kris Kristofferson, Terri Clark, Little Jimmy Dickens, Mel Tillis, Jamey Johnson, and Joanna Smith.
Plastered throughout the venue are photos and memorabilia of past and present individuals that have influenced country music. There are many pictures of country music artists, publicity stills of the greats, the hopefuls, and failures who came to Music City chasing dreams.Some of the pictures include the likes of Hank Williams Sr., Patsy Cline, and Willie Nelson.
Tootsie's Orchid Lounge: Where the Music Began was released as a 60-minute documentary in July 1995 and re-released in 2005. Willie Nelson gives insight into Tootsie's early days with interviews of Jimmy Dean and Jim Reeves. Offering insight into a favored spot for some of the biggest names in country music, who would stop in to meet their friends, enjoy a drink, and swap a few songs.Included in the documentary is archived footage of Patsy Cline, songwriter Harlan Howard, Roger Miller and performances by Dolly Parton, Aaron Neville, Marijohn Wilkin as well as newer and veteran country artists Trisha Yearwood, Billy Ray Cyrus, Marty Stuart, Tanya Tucker, Ray Price, and Bobby Bare.
Patsy Cline was an American singer. She is considered one of the most influential vocalists of the 20th century and was one of the first country music artists to successfully cross over into pop music. Cline had several major hits during her eight-year recording career, including two number-one hits on the Billboard Hot Country and Western Sides chart.
A honky-tonk is both a bar that provides country music for the entertainment of its patrons and the style of music played in such establishments. It can also refer to the type of piano used to play such music. Bars of this kind are common in the South and Southwest United States. Many eminent country music artists, such as Jimmie Rodgers, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Ernest Tubb, Johnny Horton, and Merle Haggard, began their careers as amateur musicians in honky-tonks.
Loretta Lynn is an American singer-songwriter. In a career which spans six decades in country music, Lynn has released multiple gold albums. She is famous for hits such as "You Ain't Woman Enough ", "Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' ", "One's on the Way", "Fist City" and "Coal Miner's Daughter" along with the 1980 biographical film of the same name.
Outlaw country is a subgenre of American country music, most popular during the 1970s and early 1980s. Outlaw country often centers around outlaws or prisoners opposing law enforcement, or on the lifestyles of criminals "on the lam" and their relationships with substance abuse and poverty. It is sometimes referred to as the outlaw movement or simply outlaw music.
Ryman Auditorium is a 2,362-seat live-performance venue located at 116 5th Avenue North, in Nashville, Tennessee. It is best known as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974 and is owned and operated by Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. Ryman Auditorium was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and was later designated a National Historic Landmark on June 25, 2001, for its pivotal role in the popularization of country music.
"Crazy" is a ballad composed by Willie Nelson. It has been recorded by several artists, most notably by Patsy Cline, whose version was a No. 2 country hit in 1962.
Garland Perry "Hank" Cochran was an American country music singer and songwriter. Starting during the 1960s, Cochran was a prolific songwriter in the genre, including major hits by Patsy Cline, Ray Price, Eddy Arnold and others. Cochran was also a recording artist between 1962 and 1980, scoring seven times on the Billboard country music charts, with his greatest solo success being the No. 20 "Sally Was a Good Old Girl." In 2014, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
America's Music: The Roots of Country is a 1996 three-part, six episode documentary about the history of American country music directed by Tom Neff and Jerry Aronson and written by Neff and Robert K. Oermann. The film touches on many of the styles of music that make up country music, including: Old-time music, Cajun music, Folk music, Rockabilly, Western music, Western swing, the Bakersfield sound, Honky-tonk and the Nashville sound. Country music artist and actor Kris Kristofferson narrates the three-part series.
William Owen Bradley was an American musician and record producer who, along with Chet Atkins, Bob Ferguson, Bill Porter, and Don Law, was one of the chief architects of the 1950s and 1960s Nashville sound in country music and rockabilly.
"I Fall to Pieces" is a song written by Hank Cochran and Harlan Howard that was originally recorded by Patsy Cline. Released as a single in 1961 via Decca Records, it topped the country charts, crossed over onto the pop charts and became among Cline's biggest hits. Cline was initially reluctant to recording "I Fall to Pieces" and believed its production lacked enough country instrumentation for her liking. Eventually, Cline recorded the song upon the encouragement of her producer.
"So Wrong" is a song written by Carl Perkins, Danny Dill and Mel Tillis and popularized by country music artist Patsy Cline. The song was released as a single on Decca Records in 1962 by Patsy Cline.
Broadway is a major thoroughfare in the downtown area in Nashville, Tennessee. It includes Lower Broadway, an entertainment district renowned for honky tonks and live country music. The street is also home to retail shops, restaurants, dessert spots, tourist attractions, and a few hotels.
Thomas Grady Martin was an American session guitarist in country music and rockabilly.
This is a list of notable events in country music that took place in the year 1932.
Neon Boots Dancehall & Saloon is an Country and Western bar/honky tonk that was founded as the Esquire Ballroom in 1955 by Raymond Proske in Houston, Texas at 11410 Hempstead northwest of downtown Houston. In the 1970s and 1980s the club was considered the main rival to Gilley's Club across town in Pasadena.
"Touch Me" is a song written and recorded by American country music singer Willie Nelson. Leveraged by the success of his songs, Nelson moved to Nashville in 1960. Through songwriter Harlan Howard, Nelson was signed to write for Pamper Music, and to a recording contract with Liberty Records.
"A Church, a Courtroom, Then Goodbye" is a song by American country music singer Patsy Cline. It was composed by Eddie Miller and W.S. Stevenson. It was released as Cline's debut single in July 1955 via Coral Records.
"Hidin' Out" is a song by American country music singer Patsy Cline. It was composed by Eddie Miller and W.S. Stevenson. It was released as the second single in Cline's career and second issued on Coral Records. It originally appeared on the album, Songs by Patsy Cline.
"Stop, Look and Listen" is a song by American country music singer Patsy Cline. It was composed by George London and W.S. Stevenson. It was released as a single in 1956 via Decca Records. The song has since received a positive response from critics and music writers.