10 Historic Country Music Landmarks You Should Visit

4. Grinder’s Switch, Tenn. (Home of Minnie Pearl)


There may not be much to Minnie Pearl’s hometown of Grinder’s Switch, but that’s kinda the point. The beloved country comedian and Grand Ole Opry star frequently made references to Grinder’s Switch, a town filled with lovable country characters. Grinder’s Switch is actually a small spot in the road in Centerville, Tenn., where a young Minnie Pearl (Sarah Ophelia Cannon) would go with her father. Today, you can stop by the Grinder’s Switch Winery in Centerville and raise a glass to Minnie.

5. Cheatham Street Warehouse

The unassuming Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, Texas holds an important piece of country music history. The Cheatham Street stage is where George Strait played his first shows back when he was a student at Texas State. Cheatham Street founder Kent Finlay was an early champion of Strait’s music and even drove the Texas singer to record his first demos in Nashville.

Finlay also created a weekly Songwriters Circle that spawned Texas artists like James McMurtry, Bruce Robison and Randy Rogers.

6. The Bluebird Cafe

Perhaps no place is more important to Nashville songwriters than the Bluebird Cafe. The venue opened in 1982. Since then, singer-songwriters have clamored to play in the esteemed listening room. in 1987, Garth Brooks was signed to Capitol Records after a record executive caught his showcase at the Bluebird.

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