Walk down the street on Lower Broadway and it’s a cacophony of music, from party buses to honky tonks. In the bars, where a successful main floor gig can mean real money for musicians, it’s mostly country music with some rock and pop mixed in.
What you rarely find are black acts or music, says band leader Wendell “Bizz” Bigsby.
“As Nashville has grown, the R&B music scene has not grown because there’s nowhere to play,” says Bigsby. “Separate but equal is never really true. It’s just separate but separate.”
In this video piece, musicians and a historian talk about how Music City’s most high-profile scene — just steps from the brand new National Museum of African-American Music — resists opportunities for more diverse music and performers.