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Reimagining Nashville: The Changing Place of Country

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JournalThe Historic Environment: Policy & Practice
DateAccepted/In press - 3 Dec 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print - 5 Mar 2021
DatePublished (current) - 1 May 2021
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)203-221
Early online date5/03/21
Original languageEnglish


For as long as there has been country music, Nashville has been its spiritual if not actual home. This city of recording studios, rehearsal spaces, music shops and venues is one of a small number of cities associated with a specific music genre and the creative cultures and attention this inevitably attracts. But just as heritage is never fixed and always becoming, Nashville - and the perception of Nashville - is changing, to the point where it may no longer have the primacy it once held. In a globalised music industry where not all country music is from Nashville, nor even the United States, new ‘Nashvilles’ emerge and grow, commensurate with actual or relative decline in the prominence of the original. This might be considered a heritage dilemma (heritage ‘at risk’, and a challenge to traditional views on authenticity), but equally the argument can be made for a new heritage replacing or augmenting the old. By considering the city’s ‘at risk’ status, and assessing the fictional representation of a reimagined Nashville in the Scottish city of Glasgow in the 2018 film Wild Rose, we explore this dilemma, and its challenge to heritage convention.

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