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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nickname: "Music City"
Location in Davidson County and the state of Tennessee
Coordinates 36°00'00?N, 86°47'00?W
Counties United States
Mayor Bill Purcell (D)
City 526.1 mi² - 1,362.5 km²
Land 502.2 mi² - 1,300.8 km²
Water 23.9 mi² - 61.8 km²
City (2000) 569,891
Density 169.1 /mi² - 438.1/km²
Elevation 182 m (597 ft)
Summer (DST) CST (UTC-6)
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County in the north-central part of the state. Nashville is a major hub for the health care, music, publishing, and transportation industries.
Nashville has a population of 569,891 (as of the 2000 census), making it the second largest city in Tennessee (after Memphis). The population of the entire 13-county Nashville metropolitan area is 1,311,789, making it the largest metropolitan area in the state.
A resident of Nashville is called a Nashvillian.
2 Geography and climate
2.2 Metropolitan area
3 Government and politics
5.1 Fortune 500 companies
5.2 Other important companies
7.1 Country music
7.2 Christian pop music
7.4 Civil War
7.5 Performing Arts
7.6 Art museums
8 Major annual events
13 Notable residents
Main article: History of Nashville, Tennessee
Founded by James Robertson and a party of Wataugans in 1780 on the site of a natural sulfur spring and salt lick called French Lick, and originally called Fort Nashborough, Nashville quickly grew due to its prime location, accessibility as a river port, and status as a major railroad center. In 1806 Nashville was incorporated as a city and became the county seat of Davidson County, Tennessee. In 1843, the city was named the permanent capital of the state of Tennessee.
By 1860, when the first rumblings of secession began to be heard across the South, Nashville was a very prosperous city. Tennessee reluctantly sided with the Confederacy and became the last state to secede from the Union. The city's significance as a shipping port made it a desirable prize as a means of controlling important river and railroad transportation routes. In February 1862, Nashville became the first state capital to fall to the Union troops.
Though the Civil War left Nashville severely damaged and in dire economic straits, the city quickly rebounded. Within a few years, the city had reclaimed its important shipping and trading position and also developed a solid manufacturing base. The post-Civil War years of the late 19th century brought a newfound prosperity to Nashville. These healthy economic times left the city with a legacy of grand classical-style buildings, which can still be seen around the downtown area.
It was the advent of the Grand Ole Opry in 1925, combined with an already thriving publishing industry, that positioned it to become "Music City USA". In 1963, Nashville consolidated its government with Davidson County and thus became the first major city in the United States to form a metropolitan government. Since the 1970s, the city has experienced tremendous growth, particularly during the economic boom of the 1990s under the leadership of Mayor Phil Bredesen, who made urban renewal a priority, and fostered the construction or renovation of a number of the city's landmarks, including the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Nashville Public Library downtown, the Gaylord Entertainment Center and LP Field. These last two structures enabled professional sports to come to Nashville, as the Tennessee Titans and the Nashville Predators began play.
Geography and climate
A satellite image of NashvilleNashville lies on the Cumberland River in the northwestern portion of the Nashville Basin. Nashville's topography ranges from 113 meters (370 ft) above sea level at the Cumberland River to 227 meters (746 ft) above sea level at its highest point. 
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1,362.6 km² (526.1 mi²). 1,300.8 km² (502.3 mi²) of it is land and 61.8 km² (23.9 mi²) of it (4.53%) is water.
Average temperature (red) and precipitation (blue) in NashvilleSummers in Nashville are moderately hot and humid, with July afternoons averaging 89 °F (32 °C). Winters are chilly and occasionally cold, with lows in January averaging 28 °F (-2 °C). Average annual rainfall is 1220 mm (48.1 inches), typically with winter and spring being the wettest and fall being the driest. Average annual snowfall is about 23 cm (9.1 inches), falling mostly in January and February. 
The coldest temperature ever recorded in Nashville was on January 21, 1985, when the temperature dipped to -17 °F (-22 °C), and the highest was on July 28, 1952 when the mercury reached 107 °F (42 °C).
Nashville's position within the Nashville Basin can make it very uncomfortable for allergy sufferers, as pollutants can become trapped in the atmosphere between the area's highlands.
Nashville has the largest metropolitan area in the state of Tennessee, spanning thirteen counties. The Nashville metropolitan area encompasses the Middle Tennessee counties of Cannon, Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Hickman, Macon, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson, and Wilson. 
Government and politics
See also: List of mayors of Nashville, Tennessee
The Tennessee State Capitol in NashvilleThe City of Nashville and Davidson County merged in 1963 as a way for Nashville to combat the problems of urban sprawl. The combined entity is officially known as "the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County," and is popularly known as "Metro Nashville" or simply "Metro." It offers services such as police, fire, electricity, water, and sewage treatment. When the Metro government was formed in 1963, the government was set into two service districts which are the "urban services district" and the "general services district". The urban services district encompasses the historic boundaries of the former City of Nashville and the general services district includes the remainder of Davidson County.
Nashville has a strong-mayor form of government. It is governed by a mayor, vice-mayor and 40-member Metropolitan Council. The current mayor of Nashville is Bill Purcell. The Metropolitan Council is the legislative body of government for Nashville and Davidson County. There are 5 councilmembers who are elected at large and 35 councilmembers that represent individual districts. The Metro Council has regular meetings that are presided over by the vice-mayor, who is currently Howard Gentry, Jr. The Metro Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m., according to the Metropolitan Charter.
Nashville is one of the few major Southern cities that has remained loyal to the Democratic Party. Most local elections are officially nonpartisan. However, Democratic dominance is so absolute that most local races take place between the populist and "good government" wings of the Democratic Party. The "good government" faction has held the upper hand for some time. Unlike Indianapolis, the city-county merger did not significantly alter the political landscape. Elected Republicans are few and far between. At the state level, only two Republicans--one in the State House and one in the State Senate--represent significant portions of Nashville.
Democrats are no less dominant at the federal level. Since the end of Reconstruction, the Democratic presidential candidate has won Nashville and Davidson County in every election but two. In 1968, George Wallace of the American Independent Party carried the city by a surprisingly large margin, given Wallace's opposition to racial integration; Nashville was much more progressive than most Southern cities regarding civil rights for African-Americans, especially under Mayor Beverly Briley. In 1972, Richard Nixon became the only Republican to carry Nashville since Reconstruction, gaining support from many area Democrats. However, since then, Democrats have usually won Nashville by some of the largest, if not the largest, margins in Tennessee. In 2000, Al Gore carried Nashville with over 59 percent of the vote even as he narrowly lost his home state. In 2004, John Kerry carried Nashville with 55 percent of the vote even as George W. Bush won the state by 14 points.
Despite its size, all of Nashville has been in one congressional district for most of the time since Reconstruction. For most of the time, it has been numbered as the 5th District, currently represented by Democrat Jim Cooper. While Republicans made a few spirited challenges in the mid-1960s and early 1970s, they have not made a serious bid for the district since 1972, when the Republican candidate gained only 38 percent of the vote even as Nixon carried the district by a large margin. The district's best-known congressman was probably Jo Byrns, who represented the district from 1909 to 1936 and was Speaker of the House for much of Franklin Roosevelt's first term. Another nationally prominent congressman from Nashville was Percy Priest, who represented the district from 1941 to 1956 and was House Majority Whip from 1949 to 1953.
A tiny portion of southern Davidson County was drawn into the heavily Republican 7th District after the 2000 Census. That district is currently represented by Marsha Blackburn of neighboring Williamson County. Despite this, a Republican has not represented a significant portion of Nashville since 1875.
Because Nashville serves as state capital, many of Tennessee's state issues are handled there, mostly in the Tennessee State Capitol.
The data below is for all of Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County, including satellite cities within the county (such as Belle Meade and Berry Hill). See Nashville-Davidson (balance) for demographic data on Nashville-Davidson County excluding satellite cities.
As of the census of 2000, there were 569,891 people, 237,405 households, and 138,169 families residing in the city. The population density was 438.1/km² (1,134.6/mi²). There were 252,977 housing units at an average density of 194.5/km² (503.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 66.99% White, 25.92% African American, 0.29% Native American, 2.33% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 2.42% from other races and 1.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.58% of the population. Nashville's estimated population for 2004 is 572,475 people.
There were 237,405 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.9% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.8% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.2% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 34.0% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $39,797, and the median income for a family was $49,317. Males had a median income of $33,844 versus $27,770 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,069. About 10.0% of families and 13.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.1% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over. 4.6% of the civilian labor force is unemployed.
The following is a statement of the number of people living in Nashville by decades: 1830, 5,566; 1850, 10,165; 1870, 25,865; 1890, 76,168; 1900, 80,865; 1910, 110,364; 1920, 118,342; 1940, 167,402.
An interesting note is that more Kurds call Nashville home than any other city outside of the Middle East, according to Vanderbilt University. The city has a large and active Kurdish neighborhood of more than 5,000 in the Nolensville Road area. During the Iraqi election of 2005, Nashville was one of the few international locations where Iraqi expatriates could vote. Like most American cities, Nashville has a mix of many nationalities, ethnicities, and religions.
As the "home of country music", Nashville has become a major music recording and production center. All of the Big Four record labels, as well as numerous independent labels, have offices in Nashville, mostly in the Music Row area.  Since the 1960s, Nashville has been the second biggest music production center (after New York) in the U.S.  As of 2006, Nashville's music industry is estimated to have a total economic impact of $6.4 billion a year and to contribute 19,000 jobs to the Nashville area. 
Although Nashville is renowned as a music recording center and tourist destination, its largest industry is actually health care. Nashville is home to more than 250 health care companies, including Hospital Corporation of America, the largest private operator of hospitals in the world. As of 2006, it is estimated that the health care industry contributes $18.3 billion a year and 94,000 jobs to the Nashville-area economy.  The automotive industry is also becoming increasingly important for the entire Middle Tennessee region. Nissan North America moved its corporate headquarters in 2006 from Gardena, California (Los Angeles County) to Nashville, with corporate headquarters temporarily located in the BellSouth Tower until 2008, when the Japanese auto maker will establish permanent headquarters in the Nashville suburb of Franklin, Tennessee. Nissan also has its largest North American manufacturing plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, a Nashville suburb.
Other major industries in Nashville include insurance, finance, and publishing (especially religious publishing). The city also hosts headquarters operations for several Protestant denominations, including the United Methodist Church, Southern Baptist Convention, and National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
Nashville also has a small but growing film industry. Several major motion pictures have been filmed in Nashville, including The Green Mile, The Last Castle, Gummo, Coal Miner's Daughter, and Robert Altman's Nashville.
Fortune 500 companies
Hospital Corporation of America
Dollar General Corporation (in Goodlettsville, TN)
Other important companies
Companies based in Nashville with over $1,000M in annual revenue
Advent Health Services
America Service (in Brentwood, Tennessee)
Bridgestone Americas Holding (Bridgestone-Firestone)
Central Parking Corporation
Community Health Systems Inc. (in Brentwood, Tennessee)
Corrections Corporation of America
Doane Pet Care (in Brentwood, Tennessee)
Iasis Healthcare Corporation (in Franklin, Tennessee)
Ingram Industries Inc.
LifePoint Hospitals Inc. (in Brentwood, Tennessee)
Nissan North America (as of summer 2006)
Renal Care Group
Tractor Supply Co.
Vanguard Health Systems
Vanderbilt University, founded in 1873, is Nashville's largest university, enrolling over 11,000 students. Other colleges and universities in Nashville include American Baptist College, Aquinas College, Belmont University, Draughons Junior College, Fisk University, Free Will Baptist Bible College, Gupton College, Lipscomb University, Meharry Medical College, Nashville School of Law, Nashville State Community College, Strayer University, Tennessee State University, Trevecca Nazarene University, University of Phoenix, Watkins College of Art and Design, and Nashville Auto Diesel College.
The city is served by the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.
Ryman Auditorium, the "Mother Church of Country Music"Much of the city's cultural life has revolved around its large university community. Particularly significant in this respect were two groups of critics and writers who were associated with Vanderbilt University in the early twentieth century, the Fugitives and the Agrarians.
Popular destinations include Fort Nashborough, a reconstruction of the original settlement; the Tennessee State Museum; and The Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece. The graceful State Capitol is one of the oldest working state capitol buildings in the nation, while The Hermitage is one of the older presidential homes open to the public. The Nashville Zoo is one of the city's newer attractions.
Many popular tourist sites involve country music, including the Country Music Hall of Fame and Ryman Auditorium, which was for many years the site of the Grand Ole Opry. Each year, the Country Music Association's Fan Fair (renamed "CMA Music Festival" in 2003) brings many thousands of country fans to the city.
Nashville was once home to the Opryland USA theme park, which operated from 1972 to 1997 before being demolished to make room for the Opry Mills mega-shopping mall.
Broadway Boulevard is home to many country and honky tonk clubs and bars. Probably the most famous of which is Tootsies Orchid Lounge which hosts many big names from the country music scene whilst being small, intimate and unchanged since it started in the sixties.
Christian pop music
The Christian pop music industry is based in Nashville, Tennessee, with many of the world's most popular artists such as Rebecca St. James, Michael W. Smith, Relient K based there. Hence, the city is often known as the 'Hollywood' of the Christian Entertainment Industry.
Although Nashville was never known as a jazz town, it did have many great jazz bands including The Nashville Jazz Machine led by Dave Converse and its current version, the Nashville Jazz Orchestra led by Jim Williamson as well as The Establishment led by Billy Adair.
Civil War history is an important to the city's tourism industry. Sites pertaining to the Battle of Nashville and the nearby Battle of Franklin and Battle of Stones River can be seen, along with several well-preserved antebellum plantation houses such as Belle Meade Plantation and Belmont Mansion.
The Tennessee Performing Arts Center is the major performing arts center of the city. It is the home of the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, the Nashville Opera, and Nashville Ballet and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. The latter is planning to move to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, which is scheduled to be completed in September 2006.
In addition to the work of the resident companies, the TCPA stages productions of touring music and other groups.
Nashville has several arts centers and museums, including the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located in what was formerly the main post office; Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art; the Tennessee State Museum; Fisk University's Van Vechten and Aaron Douglas Galleries; Vanderbilt University's Fine Art Gallery and Sarratt Gallery; and The Parthenon.
Major annual events
Nashville at duskThe most well-known annual event in Nashville is the CMA Music Festival (previously known as Fan Fair). The CMA Music Festival is a four day event in June featuring performances by country music stars, autograph signings, artist/fan interaction, and other activities for country music fans. In September, Nashville hosts the Tennessee State Fair at the State Fairgrounds. The State Fair lasts nine days and includes rides, exhibits, rodeos, tractor pulls, and performances of all kinds. The Nashville Film Festival takes place each year for a week in April. It features hundreds of independent films and is one of the biggest film festivals in the Southern United States. In September, the African Street Festival takes place on the campus of Tennessee State University. Other big events in Nashville include the Fourth of July celebration which takes place each year at Riverfront Park, and the Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon which normally include over 10,000 runners from around the world. Since 1997, the Australian Festival is a growing international event which celebrates the cultural and business links between the USA and the country of Australia, as well as the sport of Australian Rules Football, which has a growing popularity in the Nashville area.
See also: List of Nashville media
Nashville is served by numerous newspapers, television stations, and radio stations. The primary daily newspaper in Nashville is The Tennessean, which, until 1998, competed fiercely with another daily, the Nashville Banner. Although The Tennessean now enjoys a relative monopoly on the local newspaper market, a smaller free daily called The City Paper has recently begun publication. Several weekly papers are also published in Nashville, including the Nashville Scene, Nashville Business Journal, and The Tennessee Tribune.
Nashville is home to nearly a dozen broadcast television stations, although most households are served by direct cable network connections. Comcast Cable has a monopoly on terrestrial cable service in Davidson County (but not throughout the entire DMA). Nashville is ranked as the 30th largest television market in the United States.
Several dozen FM and AM radio stations broadcast in the Nashville area, including five college stations and one LPFM community station. Nashville is ranked as the 44th largest radio market in the United States.
Nashville has several professional sports teams, most notably the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League and the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League. Several other pro sports teams also call Nashville home, as does the NCAA football Music City Bowl. Nashville is also home to Vanderbilt University. The Vanderbilt Commodores are members of the Southeastern Conference. The football team of Tennessee State University also plays its home games at LP Field.
Club Sport League Venue Logo
Tennessee Titans Football National Football League LP Field
Nashville Predators Hockey National Hockey League Gaylord Entertainment Center
Nashville Kats Arena football Arena Football League Gaylord Entertainment Center
Nashville Sounds Baseball Minor League Baseball: Pacific Coast League Herschel Greer Stadium
Nashville Metros Soccer Premier Development League Ezell Park
Nashville Dream Women's football National Women's Football Association Glencliff High School
Sports venues in Nashville are:
Gaylord Entertainment Center
Nashville Municipal Auditorium
Memorial Gymnasium at Vanderbilt University
Curb Event Center at Belmont University
Gentry Center at Tennessee State University
Allen Arena at Lipscomb University
Music City Motorplex at state fairgrounds
Metro Board of Parks and Recreation owns and manages 10,200 acres of land and 99 parks and greenways (comprising more than 3% of the total area of the county). 2,684 acres of land is home to Warner Parks, which houses a 5,000 square-foot learning center, 20 miles of scenic roads, 12 miles of hiking trails, and 10 miles of horse trails.
Tennessee State Parks are located within the city.
The US Army Corps of Engineers maintains parks on Old Hickory Lake and Percy Priest Lake.
Nashville is centrally located at the crossroads of three Interstate Highways: 40, 24, and 65. 440 is a bypass route connecting Interstate 40 and Interstate 24 south of downtown Nashville. The Metropolitan Transit Authority  provides bus transit within the city.
The city is served by Nashville International Airport, which was a hub for American Airlines between 1986 and 1995 and is now a mini-hub for Southwest Airlines.
Although it is a major rail hub, with a large CSX Transportation freight rail yard, Nashville is one of the largest cities in the U.S. not served by Amtrak. The last passenger rail service to the city ended in 1979.
A new passenger rail system called the Music City Star is currently under development. The plan includes seven legs connecting Nashville to surrounding suburbs. The first leg of the system, which connects the city of Lebanon to downtown Nashville, is scheduled to begin service in summer 2006. Legs to Murfreesboro and Gallatin and are currently in the feasibility study stage.
Notable bridges in the city are:
The Shelby Street Bridge at nightOfficial Name Other Names Length Date Opened
Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge Gateway Bridge 506 m (1,660 ft) May 19, 2004
Kelly Miller Smith Bridge Jefferson Street Bridge March 2, 1994
Old Hickory Bridge 1929
Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge Bordeaux Bridge September 18, 1980
Shelby Street Bridge Shelby Avenue Bridge 960 m (3,150 ft) July 5, 1909
Silliman Evans Bridge 720 m (2,362 ft) 1963
Victory Memorial Bridge July 2, 1956
William Goodwin Bridge Hobson Pike Bridge 675 m (2,215 ft)
Woodland Street Bridge 195 m (639 ft)
See also: List of notable Nashvillians
Some of the most notable people born in Nashville include novelist Madison Smartt Bell, civil rights activist Julian Bond, rapper Young Buck (David Darnell Brown), singer Rita Coolidge, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, artist Red Grooms, pin-up model Bettie Page, actress Annie Potts, and soldier of fortune William Walker.
Many notable musicians have lived in Nashville including Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, Amy Grant, Emmylou Harris, Jimi Hendrix, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, Ernest Tubb, Shania Twain, Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, and Tammy Wynette.
Other notable people who have resided in Nashville include former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, former U.S. President Andrew Jackson, civil rights leader James Lawson, former U.S. President James K. Polk, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and poet Robert Penn Warren, Academy Awarding-winning actress Reese Witherspoon, talk show host and entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey, and financial talk show host, Dave Ramsey.
Nashville is a colorful, well-known city in several different arenas. As such, it has earned various sobriquets, including:
Music City, USA: WSM-AM announcer David Cobb first used this name during a 1950 broadcast and it stuck. It is now the official nickname used by the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau. Nashville is the home of the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and many major record labels. 
Athens of the South: Home to seventeen post-secondary educational institutions, Nashville has long been compared to the ancient city of learning, site of Plato's Academy. Since 1897, a full-scale replica of the Athenian Parthenon has stood in Nashville, and many examples of classical and neoclassical architecture can be found in the city. 
The Protestant Vatican or The Buckle of the Bible Belt: Nashville has over 700 churches (more than any other American city per capita), several seminaries, a number of Christian music companies, and is the headquarters for the publishing arms of both the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church. It is also the seat of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, the Gideons International, the Gospel Music Association and Thomas Nelson, the world's largest producer of Bibles. 
The Third Coast: Neither East nor West, but a hotspot of creativity.
Cashville: The spread of hip-hop music from East Coast and West Coast to the interior country has led to Atlanta becoming the main city in the Dirty South school, but Nashville is growing in importance. Young Buck, a rapper of the G-Unit clique, released a very successful album called Straight Outta Ca$hville that has popularized the nickname among a new generation. 
Nashvegas: The rhinestones and neon of Nashville have given rise to a glitzy image that local residents have embraced. Playing off the image of Las Vegas, this nickname reflects the city's colorful nightlife and affluence. Americana music artist George Hamilton V has popularized the nickname in song.
Titan Town: Obviously, for its NFL team, the Tennessee Titans. 
Metro: Short for "Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County," Metro is used locally to refer to the city, as in "Metro Police" or "Metro Schools". 
For more information on Nashville, please visit Wikipedia
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