Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge is one of the oldest and most recognizable honky tonks on Broadway in downtown Nashville.
The bright purple bar located just steps away from the Ryman Auditorium was opened by Hattie “Tootsie” Bess back in 1960, and served as a watering hole for performers at the Grand Ole Opry and some of country music’s biggest names – many of them before they were even famous.
Hell, without Tootsie’s we may have never gotten the song “Crazy” from Patsy Cline.
It was at Tootsie’s that a young, struggling songwriter who went by the name Hugh Nelson put his own song on the jukebox. Patsy’s husband Charlie was at the bar and heard the song, and encouraged his wife to record.
The song would go on to be one of Patsy’s biggest hits – and it helped put the songwriter on the map too, although he’s now known as Willie Nelson.
And that’s just one of the many pieces of country music history connected to Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.
The bar has an annual birthday celebration every year, shutting down Broadway and bringing some of country’s biggest names to pay tribute to Tootsie Bess and the history that’s been made in the bar she started back in 1960.
Unfortunately last year’s birthday bash couldn’t happen because of the pandemic, so Tootsie’s is celebrating its 60th birthday this year – and it’s bringing a hell of a lineup.
“Tootsie’s Birthday Bash has become one of the most highly-anticipated annual events on lower Broadway. Each year it gets bigger and better.
Many artists started at Tootsie’s, and having them come back year after year is a great honor to the legacy and memory of Tootsie Bess! Everyone should come out and experience that magic on our birthday!”
The 60th Anniversary Tootsie’s Birthday Bash will take place on Tuesday, October 5, with live music beginning at noon and the main lineup hitting the stage from 5 PM to midnight.
Oh, and it’s free.
The party always features some unannounced surprise guests too – so you never really know who all’s going to be there until they show up.
I know it’s a Tuesday, but that seems like as good of a day as any to head to downtown Nashville for some live country music, right?