Music fans worldwide have a new tourism destination with today’s launch of the Americana Music Triangle, a preservation project along a 1,500-mile stretch of highway that birthed nine uniquely American genres of music – Blues, Jazz, Country, Rock & Roll, R&B/Soul, Gospel, Southern Gospel, Cajun/Zydeco and Bluegrass.
Spanning more than 30 communities along the “Gold Record Road” (the Natchez Trace Parkway, I-10, Highway 90, Highway 61 and I-40), the Americana Music Triangle is a milestone collaboration of cultural attractions across the South. The ambitious project marks the culmination of more than three years of work by a multi-state team of historians, musicians, tourism professionals and digital media experts.
The mission: Launch a global grassroots movement for American music tourism and build an online community dedicated to the Triangle’s culture and history. An online ‘webguide’ establishes the Triangle’s digital footprint. Social media channels will educate and inspire a global audience with an online marketing campaign. Collateral materials and merchandise will be distributed in partnership with state and local tourism agencies across the region.
Aubrey Preston, a proprietor of Nashville’s RCA Studio A and founder of the Americana Music Triangle, said the project is an outgrowth of hundreds of conversations over the past four years. “With focused online outreach, we can reach countless music fans worldwide and motivate them to visit the Americana Music Triangle,” Preston said. “The Triangle is a unique destination where history made music, then music made history. There’s no other place like it in the world.”
Kicking off Monday, May 4th in Franklin, TN, at The Franklin Theatre, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam will join other state and local dignitaries, musical artists, and tourism leaders to launch the new preservation project. Over the course of the week, state and local community leaders across the region will hold additional launch events in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
“This is a landmark preservation and community-linking movement aimed to erase borders and celebrate the music that has shaped this country and our culture,” said Ellie Westman Chin, president and CEO of the Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “International travel is a fast-growing market. Through this project, we now have the tools necessary to work together, across states, to share a comprehensive story with a global audience.”
“Mississippi is the heart of the Americana Music Triangle, so the launch of the AMT web guide is a very exciting event for us,” said Malcolm White, director of Visit Mississippi. “Our country’s musical tradition was shaped and molded by the talented people of our state and the surrounding region. We not only have marked music trails telling of musical legends, their influences, and the history of area that gave birth to the blues, but we also make sure music remains a large part of our culture. We are so happy to have AMT’s assistance guiding people as they experience the rich American music story.”
The whistle-stop tour launching the Americana Music Triangle will visit six locations along the Gold Record Road. Launch events include:
Date: Monday, May 4th
Time: 3 PM CT
Location: Franklin Theatre
Address: 419 Main St, Franklin, TN 37064
Date: Tuesday, May 5th
Time: 10 AM CT
Location: Swampers Bar and Grill, Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa
Address: 10 Hightower Pl, Florence, AL 35630
Date: Tuesday, May 5th
Time: 3 PM CT
Location: Elvis Presley’s Birthplace
Address: 306 Elvis Presley Drive, Tupelo, MS 38804
Date: Wednesday, May 6th
Time: 11 AM CT
Location: Blue Moon Saloon
Address: 215 East Convent Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
Date: Thursday, May 7th
Time: 10:30 AM CT
Location: The Manchester at Biscuit Row
Address: 320 Phillips Street, Helena, AR 72342
Date: Friday, May 8th
Time: 3 PM CT
Location: Ground Zero Blues Club
Address: Zero Blues Avenue, Clarksdale, MS 38614
Launch events will celebrate cultural attractions unique to their states and region. For the first time, these attractions will join hands across state lines to spread the full story of how the nine musical genres developed in the region’s fields and along its riverbanks, and in its churches, honky-tonks and juke joints. While fans know well the musical impact of big cities like Memphis, Nashville and New Orleans, the Triangle also embraces the history and contributions of smaller communities, including: Brownsville, TN, Clarksdale, MS, Franklin, TN, Helena, AR, Lafayette, LA, Muscle Shoals, AL, Natchez, MS, and Tupelo, MS.
Housed at AmericanaMusicTriangle.com, the online webguide showcases cultural attractions along the Gold Record Road as well as those in nearby communities such as Bristol, TN, Knoxville, TN, Meridian, MS, Montgomery, AL, Owensboro, KY, and Shreveport, LA. Fans and visitors can take weekend excursions or, for longer adventures, travel thousands of miles learning about the origins of the nine musical genres and the culture of South. Webguide resources include driving trails, historical timelines and a master calendar of music events and festivals throughout the region.