The empty building on Lower Broadway in Nashville that was the site of the historic Ernest Tubb Record Shop until it closed in May has been sold, and now it's co-owned by a relative of the shop's namesake.
The Nashville Scene reported on Friday (July 29) that the three-story building at 417 Broadway has been sold for $18.3 million. Dale Tubb, a grandson of Ernest Tubb, now owns it along with real estate investor Brad Bars and Russian-born, Nashville-based bluegrass picker and session musician Ilya Toshinskiy. The Scene adds that the investors purchased the rights to the record store assets for an undisclosed sum, which creates hope that a shop that operated in downtown Nashville for 75 years may return soon thanks to the Tubb family.
An LLC associated with longtime Robert's Western World owner JesseLee Jones sold the building and assets, which it purchased in Aug. 2020 for $4.75 million. The increased price reflects the surging property values in downtown Nashville. For example, a neighboring (and much larger) structure that'll soon house a Garth Brooks-themed bar sold in December for $48 million. The Scene adds for context that when McCormick bought the building in 1992, it cost him $128,000.
Country great Ernest Tubb founded the business in 1947. It moved to its most recent location on Lower Broadway in 1951, where it survived everything from the Grand Ole Opry moving in 1974 from the nearby Ryman Auditorium to changes over time in how country music is consumed by listeners. The Lower Broad flagship outlasted satellite locations as well, including ones in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. and Fort Worth, Texas.
Over the years, the shop hosted influential country radio show the Midnite Jamboree, which aired right after the Grand Ole Opry's Saturday night broadcasts. It also maintained until the end a reputation for stocking CDs, LPs, books and other merchandise representing classic and traditional-sounding country music.