The iconic Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville is closing this spring. The record store holds a prominent place in country music history, surviving the changes to the genre over seven decades. However, it could not survive the drastic changes Nashville's Broadway has undergone in recent years during the tourism boom.
"It's with great sadness that we share the news that the Ernest Tubb Record Shop – building and business – will be sold," reads a statement from Honky Tonk Circus, LLC, ETRS, LLC, David McCormick Company, Inc., posted via the shop's Facebook page on Friday. "Our goal has always been to protect, promote and preserve the great history of the record shop and building. That desire remains as strong today as ever. However, due to changes in circumstances out of our control, it's now clear the best way forward is to sell the business and the real estate."
Ernest Tubb Record Shop was opened by country music legend Ernest Tubb in 1947 on Commerce Street, reports The Tennessean. Tubb moved the store to 417 Broadway in 1951, where it still stands today. After the Texas Troubadour died in 1984, the store was kept alive by longtime employee David McCormick. In August 2020, Jesse Lee Jones, the owner of the nearby Robert's Western World, bought the building and store from McCormick for $4.75 million.
The shop hosted the Midnight Jamboree radio show, which featured country stars performing after finishing their Grand Ole Opry appearances. The show ended in 1995, but the Ernest Tubb Record Shop claims it remains the second longest-running radio show in history. Countless stars performed on the Jamboree, including Patsy Cline, Connie Smith, Porter Wagoner and Marty Stuart. The Jamboree briefly returned in 2021 at the Texas Troubadour Theatre on Music Valley Drive.
"We are heartbroken that the store, which has existed in its current location in the heart of lower Broadway since 1951, will close this spring," the statement from the McCormick Company continued. "Preserving the history and tradition of country music remains at the forefront of everything we do. We remain committed to preservation work and look forward to new projects that will allow us to continue to protect and nurture the invaluable history and tradition of country music."
No set closing date was announced. It's also not clear who is buying the building, but Ernest Tubb Record Shop is the latest Nashville landmark to close as Lower Broadway continues to evolve. In December, The George Jones — a complex containing a museum, restaurant and concert venue — closed, citing the coronavirus pandemic and the impact of the Second Avenue Christmas Day bombing in 2020.