When the Cumberland River overflowed its banks in 2010, the Grand Ole Opry House was the flood’s most high-profile victim. As country music’s oldest and most enduring hall of fame, the restoration of that Nashville landmark was championed by many performers, not least among them 2010 Entertainer of the Year Brad Paisley.
Nashville, of course, has long been referred to as The Home of Country Music, and after marrying in 2003, Paisley moved just off North Berrys Chapel Road onto approximately 100 acres, near Franklin, just 15 miles south of Nashville.
Mr. and Mrs. Paisley aren’t alone when it comes to investing in some of the luxurious properties Tennessee has to offer. Numerous other celebrities with exquisite taste in real estate have, or used to boast, Tennessee zip codes.
Kellie Pickler arrived on the scene as the sixth-place winner of American Idol’s season five, and has since gone on to win CMT’s Female Video of the Year award several times for her hit, “I Wonder.”
In early 2010, then-24-year-old Pickler paid $1,435,000 for a 4,865-square-foot, four-bedroom new-build in Nashville’s upscale Green Hills neighborhood. With its curving driveway, barrel-vaulted formal dining area and slate floors, the stone-faced residence — crowning a leafy .46-acre lot — seems like an unlikely achievement for the naïve, unsophisticated small-town girl who needed Rod Stewart to tell her “lyrics” and “the words” were the same thing.
Outlaw singer-songwriter David Allan Coe, never a stranger to strangeness, hands-down wins our unofficial Wildest Address competition. Following the IRS seizure of his Key West home in the mid-80’s, Coe began living in a Tennessee cave. Just 35 minutes west of downtown Nashville — located at 855 Highway 46 South, Dickson — Ruskin Cave eventually became the nucleus of a compound which also housed, among other delights, an Olympic-length swimming pool and a concert stage. Coe eventually moved on, as must we, but he remains an interesting tenant in one of the most unique and unconventional Tennessee dwellings.
House of Cash
Johnny and June Carter Cash spent most of their 35-year marriage at a home fronting Old Hickory Lake, in Hendersonville. Figures for Cash’s lake front property are easy to recite — 13,880 square feet; four 35-foot round rooms, seven bedrooms — but the property’s spiritual significance is less easy to pin down. For three decades it was the hub of a cultural universe, cementing the Carter/Cash clan’s importance by hosting the likes of Brooks & Dunn, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Graham Nash, Carl Perkins and Shel Silverstein. Legend has it that this was the first place Kris Kristofferson sang Me and Bobby McGee, and images of the home appear in Cash’s redemptive Hurt video.
Sadly, the house no longer exists. After the deaths of Johnny and June, their son sold the property to singer Barry Gibbs; it burned to the ground, in 2007, during a subsequent remodel. Cash’s final residence does still exist, however. In his later years, when navigating the massive lakefront property became too difficult for the wheel-chair-bound veteran, Cash moved across the road, literally.
The King’s Crib
The most iconic home of all, of course, belonged to the most iconic celebrity, The King himself. Elvis Presley reinvented the world of music and did much of this while living in Tennessee.
Presley’s mansion, the well-renowned Graceland, sits atop a gentle rise at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis. Crowning an almost 14-acre estate, the white-columned façade and famous front gate — shaped like sheet music, with a silhouette of the star — operates as both shrine and museum, welcoming some 600,000 visitors a year. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1991, then declared a National Historic Landmark in 2006.
The lesson to be learned from the Presley place, at least as far as home-buyers are concerned, is that there really is the perfect home out there for everyone. Originally, The King bought Graceland with his mother in mind, but it ended up being his residence for the rest of his life.
Reaching for Your Star
Not everyone can afford to live like Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, whose 753-acre, four-residence estate may still be available at a mere $20 million. We do advise against asking for a cave, however!
Happily for those of us with marginally more modest means, the skilled realtors who make up RE/MAX of Tennessee’s network of local experts are on hand. With more than sixty offices across the state, our experienced realtors will share everything you’ll need to know about the local markets and available homes in price ranges that meet your budget.