In the midst of last year’s global pandemic, American Picker Mike Wolfe joined leaders from 13 rural Middle Tennessee and Northwest Alabama communities to launch a regional movement dubbed “Nashville’s Big Back Yard.”
Nashville’s Big Back Yard is a region anchored by 100 miles of the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway that connects communities with populations under 5,000 — from Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee, down to Muscle Shoals, Alabama. In the age of coronavirus, small communities are seeing a surge of interest from people who are drawn to rural living, remote work, and an affordable lifestyle.
“This global pandemic is making folks rethink how and where they want to live and work,” said Wolfe, a rural Williamson County resident who has traveled tens of thousands of miles and gained millions of fans as the star and creator of the History Channel’s “American Pickers” series. “I know first-hand how much rural communities have to offer. Now is the perfect time to think about getting out of the cities, and back to small town Main Streets and open spaces. I’m honored to help shine a light on the communities in Nashville’s Big Back Yard.”
To help roll out Nashville’s Big Back Yard, Wolfe produced a series of social media messages and videos on location throughout the NBBY region. Carl Griggs, owner of Carl’s Music Studio in Waynesboro, was recently featured on social media.
“This is the story of Carl’s Music Studio in Waynesboro, TN. In 1981, Carl Griggs was looking for a change in life. His family members owned the local jewelry store on the “square” in Waynesboro, and they were retiring. Taking a leap of faith, Carl decided to resign from his factory job, and buy Hodges Jewelry. Mr. Griggs made a good living for several years, but like many chapters, he was ready to close this one and pursue his passion in music.
“Carl always loved music. When he was little, his family never played instruments. That didn’t keep him from learning how to play. At a craft show in Hohenwald he witnessed a man from Memphis playing the dulcimer. There it was! This is what he wanted to pour his devotion into. Carl went down to the local library and had the librarian order the instrument for him. Once he got it home, he played until his fingers hurt, eventually mastering the strings and rhythms. Then he learned the violin (which is his favorite) along with the piano, guitar, and ukulele.
“In 2005 Carl closed Hodges Jewelry Store and opened what is now Carl’s Music Studio on the square. Inside you will find many instruments for sale and Carl teaching the art of music to future generations of music lovers.
“Stop in sometime and hear Carl’s story and the rich history of Wayne County from a life-long resident in Nashville’s Big Back Yard.”