Eric Church among Nashville trio honored with Music City Walk of Fame inductions


A quartet of advocates for Nashville’s socioeconomic growth via the power of song are now engraved into the city’s legacy via their May 4 inductions into the Music City Walk of Fame.

Multi-platinum country artist Eric Church, co-founders of the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum Joe and Linda Chambers, plus soon retiring Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. (NCVC) CEO Butch Spyridon, were honored at Walk of Fame Park, directly across from the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The monument now honors 100 people or musical acts who, as the NCVC’s website notes, “have contributed to the world through song or other industry collaboration and made a significant contribution to the music industry with connection to Music City.”

Garth Brooks, Marty Smith, Eric Church, Linda Chambers, Butch Spyridon, Music City Walk of Fame induction ceremony, May 4, 2023

Present to induct Church was ESPN personality Marty Smith, while Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry member Garth Brooks inducted both Joe and Linda Chambers, plus Spyridon.

As has been the case for many of the Music City Walk of Fame induction ceremonies, morning show host of WSM’s “Coffee, Country & Cody” and Grand Ole Opry announcer and host Bill Cody served as emcee for the proceedings.

Church was feted as a North Carolina-born Nashville outsider whose genuine desire to “be his own man,” as Smith noted, led to his near quarter-century run of iconoclastic country music success.

ESPN personality Marty Smith, Music City Walk of Fame induction ceremony, May 4, 2023

“Eric doesn’t chase what’s popular, he chases what’s right,” Smith continued, highlighting Nashville songs’ melodies as the “brick and mortar that builds memories.”

“I came here with a guitar, mediocre songs and big dreams,” stated Church.

“My career is now beyond those dreams.”

Eric Church signs autographs, Music City Walk of Fame induction ceremony, May 4, 2023

A voluminous crowd of his “Church Choir” of fans wildly cheered to support Church’s honor.

Notable to Church’s induction is his being highlighted as a fundamental part of Nashville’s development as a city-as-brand.

Ascend Amphitheater’s July 30 and 31, 2015, opening involved sold-out concerts from the 10-time Billboard chart-topper. Moreover, in December 2021, when North Nashville’s historic African-American favored venue, the Club Baron (Pride of Elks Lodge), was considered an endangered historic property, Church led a group of nearly three-dozen investors in renovating the space.

Eric Church accepts his induction plaque, Music City Walk of Fame induction ceremony, May 4, 2023

Moreover, in 2024, Church will open “Chief’s,” a six-level Lower Broadway bar and restaurant containing an intimate, 500-seat performance venue.

Insofar as Joe and Linda Chambers, the co-founders of the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, have long represented the stalwart, timeless heart of Nashville’s creative community for four decades.

Joe Chambers passed away in September 2022. The native Georgian entrepreneur, guitarist, record producer and songwriter was intrinsically linked to numerous generations of Nashville stars.

Garth Brooks with Linda Chambers, Music City Walk of Fame induction ceremony, May 4, 2023

For the past decade, his 25-year-old idea of the Musicians Hall of Fame has been housed under downtown’s Municipal Auditorium.

There, he — alongside his wife, Linda and family — have preserved Nashville’s national legacy alongside other vaunted American musical hubs via an astonishing collection of artifacts large and small, including many instruments, clothing and studio effects.

However, Joe Chambers had one request — of many (including getting artists like Church to help save the Club Baron) — he made to Music City Walk of Fame developer and feted outgoing NCVC CEO Butch Spyridon.

Bill Cody addresses the crowd at Walk of Fame Park during the Music City Walk of Fame induction ceremony on May 4, 2023

He wanted to see his wife, Linda, honored on the Music City Walk of Fame.

She, alongside Joe, had personally funded the museum, aided in moving the artifacts from the area now occupied by Music City Center and in work required to restore many of the artifacts also damaged during the 2010 Nashville flood.


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