The New Nashville
It's not just for country music anymore, as every major Hollywood agency sets up shop, stars homestead and business (and pleasure) explode: 'It has everything you want out of a small town and big town'
Nashville's stereotype as a country music backwater is now as quaint as a Hank Williams hit. With the ABC series Nashville casting the actual town as its sprawling backdrop, Music City is in the midst of a long-percolating renaissance abetted by new residents with SAG cards and mail forwarded from Beverly Hills and a surge in hip restaurants, hotels and clubs - all without ceding the town's courtly country manners. "It was a very different town than it is now," says Greg Oswald, who co-runs William Morris Endeavor's country music division and moved to Nashville from California in the '80s to work for Barbara Mandrell. Bob Darwell, an attorney with Los Angeles showbiz powerhouse Sheppard Mullin, recently bought a second home in Nashville both for "the business opportunities it presents in entertainment" and for "a love of the city." Getting there is easy: Delta, American and Southwest fly nonstop from LAX; flying time is four hours.
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