The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Nashville—the capital of Tennessee and home to Davy Crocket and the Grand Ole Opry—is known as America’s Music City. It boasts a combination of Greek temples and Greek-Revival mansions, ethnic diversity, art of all kinds, universities, churches and denominational headquarters, printing and publishing houses, and even an NHL hockey team. It is also home to untold numbers of musicians, writers, producers, record labels, recording studios, talent scouts, halls of fame and museums, amusement parks, live-music venues, honky-tonks, and famous guitar maker Gibson Brands, Inc.

Settled in the 1700s on the shores of the Cumberland River and named for John Nash, a general in the Continental Army, Nashville is now a modern metropolis and one of the 25 largest cities in the United States. There are seemingly unlimited choices of upscale and down-home restaurants, as well as the city’s own Prince’s Hot Chicken and Goo Goo Cluster candy.

The Fisk Jubilee Singers from Nashville’s Fisk University conducted the very first around-the-world music tour in the late 1800s to help fund the school’s mission of educating freed slaves after the Civil War. This also put Nashville on the map as a global music center. In fact, after they performed for Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, she stated that they must come from the “music city.” The moniker stuck.

The gold star in Nashville’s crown came in 1925, with the establishment of radio station WSM and its launch of the broadcast that would be called the Grand Ole Opry. In 1943, the Opry moved out of the WSM studios and onto the stage of the Ryman Auditorium.

The Opry—still staged live every week—is the longest-running radio show in the United States and has been in continuous production for more than 90 years.

Country Music Hall of Fame stars Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, and Elvis Presley—plus hundreds more—have all performed there.

The Grand Ole Opry ignited the careers of countless country stars and claims fans worldwide. Its continuous broadcast has been credited as one of the most popular means of introducing the best of US culture and music to the world.

The 2018 American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) Charity Ball is focusing on popular foods and drinks from Nashville along with music from its deep Scottish–Irish roots. The evening will include Appalachian ballads, Fisk spirituals, bluegrass banjos, fiddles, pounding pianos, and twanging guitars. You will be treated to a sampling of the country music that was recorded in Nashville that would later become rock and roll and Americana. It’s music that changed the world.

But this evening is not just an exciting and fun social event; it’s a way for the ACCJ to give back to the community.

We hope that you will support the Charity Ball by attending or becoming a sponsor and look forward to seeing you there!

2018 ACCJ Charity Ball: Nashville Nights: An Evening in Music City
Saturday, December 8, 2018, 6:00 p.m.–midnight
Hilton Tokyo Shinjuku Hotel 4F

Rambling Steve Gardner is a writer and musician from Mississippi. He has been based in Tokyo since the early 1980s.