Nashville’s country music pauses for one night only – Trump v Biden

It takes a lot to stop the music in Nashville, but the imperative that is country music gave way to the importance of presidential politics for one night only.

In a rare break in the rhythm on Broadway, aka the ‘Honky Tonk Highway’, the big screen entertainment was handed over to America’s duelling politicos.

Around 63 million people tuned in to watch Thursday night’s 90-minute showdown, according to ratings data from Nielsen.

People in Nashville watch the debate
Image:People across the US gathered to watch the debate

“I think Joe Biden won because he knew what he was talking about and was able to quickly think on his feet in response to whatever Trump was saying,” said Biden supporter Jo Headrick, from Ohio.

There was universal agreement, and not a little relief, that the tone of the second debate was a vast improvement on the first.

Kennith Nesmith, a Trump supporter from Alabama, said: “I thought it was, there was a better debate than the last one, because in the last one they were just talking over each other, both of them acting like children. I think, maybe Trump’s adviser told him not to not to speak over Biden.”

Mr Nesmith thought the Democratic challenger was damaged by his statement that he would “transition” the country away from oil and natural gas.

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“I think Biden was winning the debate until they got to the, you know, shutting down oil companies – that’s huge.

“So I think it was kind of even kilter after that – before I think Biden was winning the debate. But you know what? I don’t feel like we have an honest politician in the White House right now, period.”

There’s a place in Nashville where music royalty goes to buy guitars.

George Gruhn is in the 50th year of running Gruhn Guitars. It's a collection as exotic as his snakes - around 29 of them kept in tanks inside his office.
Image:George Gruhn is in the 50th year of running Gruhn Guitars

George Gruhn is in the 50th year of running Gruhn Guitars, whose patrons include the great and the good of the music world including Eric Clapton, Neil Young and Taylor Swift and many more.

Some of Mr Gruhn’s instruments sell for more than $250,000. It’s a collection as exotic as his snakes – around 29 of them kept in tanks inside his office.

We dropped by to ask Nashville’s guitar man who he thought had emerged the victor in the presidential debate.

“If you read The Art Of The Deal, the book Trump wrote, it was basically a book on how to take advantage of people, how to gain power over somebody.

“I think that people will judge Trump more on what he has done than what he has said in any of these debates. I think that overall.

“He came out better on this debate than on that first one but I’d say that, overall, I think Biden came out better than Trump did. Trump said a fair number of statements which upon fact checking would not stand the test of truth.”

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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