The Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry, WSM 650 AM, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. These are all legendary institutions that have had a direct impact on the evolution of country music and hold a place in the history of the genre and of Nashville, Tennessee. However, there is another organization that has had a direct effect on country music. It may not be as known or as praised as, say, the Ryman Auditorium, but it has been there through the history of the genre, and most country fans have been exposed to it, even if they don't know it. That organization is Hatch Show Print.
Anyone who has spent time in Music City or has a fondness for country music has likely seen the product of Hatch Show Print. Its famous concert posters are plastered on the walls of the Ryman Auditorium dressing rooms and at the legendary Station Inn. They're for sale at the merch table at your favorite artist's concert. They're the classic, colorful, multi-font concert posters that Hatch Show Print has been creating for decades. These days, those posters are produced for many different events and causes even outside country music, but the most recognizable of these posters are the old-time concert posters for artists like Hank Williams, Roy Acuff, Elvis Presley, Bill Monroe, Minnie Pearl, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and so many more.
The History of the Shop
Hatch Show Print evolved from a letterpress printing shop owned by William Hatch in Prescott, Wiconsin. In 1875, Hatch moved his family to Nashville, Tennessee, where his sons, Charles and Herbert Hatch, eventually took over the business and founded CR and HH Hatch. According to the print shop's website, the Hatch brothers' first print was a handbill made for the visit of Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, the brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe. After this, the shop went on to produce not just posters, but billboard-sized prints on the sides of buildings for everything from circuses to vaudeville shows. Charles Hatch's son William took over the family business in the 1920s, during which time some of the most iconic country music letterpress posters were created.
The Continued Relevance of the Shop
Hatch Show Print stayed in business after the death of William Hatch in 1952 and it continues to operate as a working letterpress print shop to this day. The shop produces 500 to 700 poster projects per year, and each one is hand designed and hand printed in the shop. The Hatch Show Print shop has moved locations a few times during its lifetime. During the 1920s, it was located behind Ryman Auditorium. It then moved to a space on Lower Broadway in Downtown Nashville, and it is now nestled within the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's new expansion, in the corridor leading to the Omni Hotel.
Visit Hatch Show Print
Fans of country music and Hatch Show Print can visit the current shop, which is located at 224 5th Ave South. Visitors can watch the printers do their work, take a Hatch Show Print tour, view the Haley Gallery and buy their own Hatch Show Print posters, t-shirts and other items from right inside the shop. Find out more about Hatch Show Print events, tours and special offers by visiting the shop's website at hatchshowprint.com.