A drive through Nashville, a sleepy Southern city of approximately one million people and the home of virtually the entire country-music industry, is a sobering and illuminating experience. As the economically retarded South begins to catch up with the rest of the country, many Southern cities find themselves struggling with a desire to grow more wealthy and cosmopolitan while maintaining a competing desire to preserve their regional charms. For Nashville this tension is particularly strong: The city wishfully calls itself the "Athens of the South," even as its wealth is paradoxically dependent on one provincial business. Gaudy, plantation-style estates litter suburban Nashville, and modern-day equivalents of the archetypal Greek stadiums rise across the city in preparation for the imminent arrival of NFL and NHL franchises. Meanwhile, recently constructed ASCAP and BMI buildings tower over Music Row, monuments to an industry just emerging from an... More >>>