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Historic Printers Alley

Historic Printers Alley - Nashville's First Entertainment Hotspot


Library of Congress

Newspaper Delivery Boys standing in Printers Alley Circa: 1900-1910

Throughout the years Police would stage raids on the Alley, usually before or after elections to either, embarrass the political foes of the current administration or to continue the farce that they were once again going to clean up the rift raft of the Alley.

The Alley contributed to the political corruption that Nashville finally eliminated in the early 1960's by electing to transfer to a Metropolitan form of Government.

Printers Alley eased into its decline in 1969 as Nashville voted for Liquor by the drink and many clubs began to spring up in the suburbs. Most of the Printers had been long since gone, Ambrose Printing Company now located in Metro Center was the last to leave in 1976.

The only Clubs to survive the 70's and 80's were Skulls Rainbow Room, Boots Randolph's, The Black Poodle and The Brass Stables, which got its name from being the original stables which housed the mules that pulled the newspaper wagons at the turn of the century.

Printers Alley saw a major renovation in 1997 as Nashville recognized its historical importance, however storied its past may have been. The Western room has replaced the Voodoo Room, the Brass Rail has replaced the Brass Stables, and the Pink Poodle has replaced the Black Poodle.

Over the years one thing has remained the same, during the day the Alley presents a drab vision of delivery trucks and shuffling pedestrians looking for a shortcut or perhaps a bite to eat, but at night as the many neon lights start to flicker, the glasses begin to clink and the music starts to bellow, the Alley once again raises to life as the Grand Mistress of Nashville Entertainment.

Originally published 5/20/2003
© Jan Duke

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