FROM THE 50's, 60's & 70's
DO YOU REMEMBER?
* Harvey's Nativity scene at the Parthenon in Centennial Park.
* The old Krystal on West End and on Gallatin Road with curb service. They served the burgers in a red plastic basket with that wax paper covering them up. Thick shakes and chocolate ice box pie for dessert.
* The Monkey Bar and Carousel on the top floor of the downtown Harvey's. If business was slow Mr. Harvey would let the monkeys run loose in the store.
* The old movie theaters downtown: The Tennessee, Crescent, Lowes, Knickerbocker and the Paramount? Was there ever better popcorn? Most carried big banners "AIR CONDITIONED" in icy blue letters.
* The original Green Hills Strip - Chester's, Three Sisters, Family Booterie, Durys, Woolworths, Walgreens, Cross Keys Restaurant & Castner Knotts. The BEST cherry cokes were at Woolworths in Green Hills and you could pop a balloon to get the price of your banana split. Chester's had a mynah bird on the basement floor which would wolf whistle at the ladies walking by. Talking Mynah birds were a novelty in the late 50's and downtown Harveys, the Children's Museum and Jim Reed Chevrolet all had resident birds.
* Green Hills & Inglewood Theaters - Party Rooms that were soundproofed and could host noisy birthday parties and crying babies.
* Melrose Theatre - the make out balcony.
* Cascade Plunge Swimming Pool at Fair Park. There were also several other pools of note including Swim & Sun, Centennial Park Pool, Glendale in Melrose, Collins' Lake on River Road, Pleasant Green in Goodlettsville, Willow Plunge in Franklin and the Union Hill Pool next to the drag strip, and Rawlings. The 2nd biggest urban legend of Nashville (behind the Hookman) concerned razor blades in the water slide at Cascade Plunge.
* Hippodrome Skating Rink (where the Vanderbilt Holiday Inn is) or the Rollerdrome (where H H Gregg is on Thompson Lane at the railroad tunnel) or Skateland in Madison (behind Sears). The Hippodrome also featured wrestling and music concerts by groups like the Kingsmen.
* Varallo's at the split of Highway 100 and 70 with the curb service.
* The A & P grocery store where the West End Cooker is now.
* Cooper and Martin grocery stores on Hillsboro Rd, Belmont Blvd. and Charlotte Pike.
* Saturday mornings with live combos in the Harvey's Department Store Loft Downtown. Remember the little chimes all the way around outside Harvey's? The monorail at Harvey's at Christmastime--it went all the way around the ceiling on the top floor. The REAL Santa Claus was at Harvey's. Harvey's featured fun house mirrors, carousel horses and Nashville's first escalators. "Harvey's, the fun place to shop."
* Hank Snow music store on Church Street. Before his shop, most instruments came from Sears and Roebuck or Western Auto. Elvis, the Beach Boys and the Beatles created waves of boys throwing down their band instruments and picking up an electric guitar. Downtown blossomed with music stores like Hewgleys, Roy Warden and Claude Street Piano.
* The Ozborne Hessey building where Riverfront Park is now.
* Deadrick Street back when it had pawn shops.
* Cain Sloan on Church Street with its animated Easter Displays and Breakfast with Santa. Young ladies could take classes in manners and presentation.
* The Elk's Lodge on Sixth with the rocking chairs on the front porch and the elk statue in the small front yard just in front of the State Capitol. They also served great hamburgers in their dining room.
* Before there was a Legislative Plaza, there was the old central bus stop and there were always pigeons all about.
* Fifties and Sixties brought new freedom to teens. Japanese Motorcycles became affordable and acceptable in the sixties and cruisin' was a weekend tradition. Shoney's, Griff's Hamburgers, Yannie's, Rawhide, Ford's Drive In on Gallatin Rd. just past East High, The Dog House in Old Hickory, Don's Den in Donelson, Bar B Cutie on Murfreesboro Rd. and many others became the meeting places of choice.
* Remember when they built the big roller coaster at Fair Park? Paris After Dark, the Mad Mouse, bumper cars, hand cars, the Cyclone, pink & blue cotton candy, and an actual organ grinder with a little monkey that took money. They had one of those at Harvey's too, didn't they? Remember the "serious" railroad crossing guards at the State Fair with their loud whistles and waving signs? Ever make a "WMAK Schools Out" Party at Fair Park?
* When WKDA-FM went on the air in 1970 with "Album Oriented Rock". In the first hour they smashed records by the Archies and other bubble gum artists. WLAC 1510 ruled the new AM talk radio format with a powerhouse team of Ruth Ann Leach, Les Jamison & Teddy Bart. Dave Overton and The Waking Crew every morning on 650 WSM radio with Papa John Gordy, Owen Bradley, the Anita Kerr Singers, etc and also The Going Home Show, also on WSM radio, with Larry Munson and Teddy Bart. SM95 was a classic adult contemporary station in Nashville from 1976-1984. It has been recreated on the internet with some very eclectic music including Nashville's Lemonade Charade.
* The B&W Cafeteria on Sixth, Phillips & Butorff, the neat old 'single-file' Krystal Restaurants on 5th and also on Church and the Candyland at 7th and Church with the best milk shakes in town and delicious sandwiches. The Sweet Shoppe at 21st and Capers with drive-in service where for fifty cents you could get a hamburger and shake. Twentieth Century Billiard parlor right behind where you could always get a good game of 9-ball.
* Loveman's on the corner of Union and, was it, Fifth or Fourth? They had that great balcony all the way around and the beauty parlor where they dyed old ladies' hair blue, purple, and pink was on the balcony. They did a lot of that bizarre hair dying at Harvey's, too.
* Anyone remember the old blind black fellow (Cortelia Clark) who played guitar and sang the blues on Fifth near Woolworth's or the Buttercup lady near Cain Sloan Downtown?
* Acme Farm Supply when it really was a farm supply and Farmer's Market when there were actual Nashville farmers selling their produce.
* All Woody Allen's movies always debuted at the Crescent; that's where I 'tried' to see "Cyclorama," but learned that I get motion sickness viewing such things. "Mary Poppins" stayed sold out there for weeks and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" did, too. The Crescent's 45-foot screen and six-track stereo sound showcased "Ben-Hur, South Pacific and Oklahoma". However, "Virginia Wolfe" got raided by an over-zealous boy in blue when it opened downtown. The record for a movie run had to be the "Sound of Music" at the Belle Meade Theatre. The manager, Mr. Jordan got tired of dealing with kids "acting badly" and held the movie over for six months. There was the Happiness Club at Belle Meade Theatre where on Saturday afternoon you could go for 16 cents and watch a live stage show and a movie and sing--"Happy Days Are Here Again" as long as you behaved and Mr. Jordan didn't kick you out. .Both the Belle Meade and Green Hills Theatre featured many movie premiers during the 60's. A huge pie fight was held in front of the Green Hills Theatre for the opening of "The Great Race". In the 50's and 60's moviemakers tried all kinds of gimmicks to give viewers an experience they couldn't get at home. Three-D glasses, Smell-O-Vision piped noxious clouds of perfume into the theater during The Scent of Mystery, goosing patrons with electric shocks and floating inflatable skeletons over the crowd. The '70s brought the dubious magic of Sensurround, a technological marvel that basically cranked up a bank of speakers to 10+.
* Remember how far you could see from the L&C Observation Deck for a dime or the L&C letters on top of the Tower that would turn pink for fair weather and blue for rain.
* Remember that they had a little popcorn stand at Centennial Park and you could buy a little box of popcorn to feed the ducks. The old Children's Museum that had live alligators and a stuffed bobcat in it. I always thought what a waste of a perfectly good little cat. Trouper the Clown visited all the schools for the Children's Theatre and Tom Tichenor's puppets resided at the Downtown Library.
31. A free ride on Clees' Ferry.
* Harvey's luncheonette --all that chrome!!!--Cakes (German chocolate, carrot cake, coconut cake with half a cherry in the middle) from Harvey's in the white square boxes with cord tied around them--and always the smell of chemicals in the air from where folks were having their hair perm-ed.
* The old National Life Building on the corner of Seventh and Union. Absolutely gorgeous, all that wood paneling and marble. It took them much longer to get the building torn down than they had anticipated because it was so solid--then they put in a parking lot.
* Taking grade school field trips to Colonial Bakeries, Jersey Farms, Purity Dairies and a train ride to Franklin and back leaving from the Union Station Shed.
* Melrose Pool Hall way down in the dark basement near the Bowling Alley.
* Lunch at the Iris Room at Cain-Sloan.
* The Nashville Symphony used to give performances in the War Memorial Building. The State Museum was in the basement of the War Memorial Building and Sam Davis' boot was always the most memorable item in the entire place for me. The mummy and the polar bear probably gave several generations of school kids nightmares.
* The department store that was where West Bowl is now (GRANTS!!) talking to "Santa" there. I remember they would hire winos for that role and once "Santa" was slurring and going on and on. The manager made him leave and they put up a sign saying that "SANTA IS SICK AND WILL NOT BE BACK TILL TOMORROW NIGHT"
* Bel-Air, Montague, Skyway, Colonial and Warner Park Drive-ins. Many had playgrounds down front for the small kids.
* Kuhn's 5 and 10 cent store.
* S&H green stamps and the True Value stamp stores on West End and Nolensville Road. Free dishes at Sinclair Gas Stations with a fill-up.
* Bob Lobertini, Boyce Hawkins & Ron Kaiser... the original TV weathermen.
* Miss Norma on Romper Room, Happy A. Clown, Ruff 'n Reddy (Jim Sanders), Grandpa (Boyce Hawkins), Captain Bob (Bob Lobertini) & Captain Bill (Bill Jay) & Sir Cecil Creape (Russ McCown)..."Good Night, Sleep Tight, and Don't Let the Beddie Bugs Bite!" Did you know Pat Sajak wrote many of the scripts for Sir Cecil? Five O'Clock Hop hosted by Dave Overton on WSM-TV.
* Gulas and Welch Wrestling on TV with Jackie Fargo, Tojo Yamamoto, Lynn Rossi, and Gentleman Saul Weingeroff. The Fargo strut, Japanese Claw and the Mario Milano head-butt. Sponsored by Shyer Jewelers. "If you don't know diamonds, know your jeweler and if Harold says it's so, it's so". Live wrestling at the Hippodrome. "Ladies and gentlemen we're expecting an all time record breaking crowd, better get your tickets early. They're available at the box office and in the lobby of the Sam Davis Hotel".
* Times before Marcia Trimble when kids were able to walk the streets and play without fear of kidnapping, rape and death.
* Emma's .. "the soo-puh-lah-tive florist".
* Shakey's Pizza Parlors and the sing-a-longs on weekends and the separated family side and beer drinking side.
* When the only action on lower broad was Saturday night at the Opry? When the Hard Rock Cafe was a Hardware store?
* When riding the bus downtown was cool and safe and cheap (well, maybe not cool).