John A. Hobbs, a visionary and a key player in the development of Nashville’s Music District died on the 12th of June, Wednesday. He was 91 years old.
The Music Valley or Opryland area is considered the city’s head, as it is considered as one of the most diverse, kid-friendly, and affordable neighborhoods in Music City. This is the district surrounding the Grand Ole Opry.
As a Nashville native himself, Hobbs was a pivotal character in constructing this neighborhood. After serving in World War II, he owned a construction company before co-founding Fiddler’s Inn back in 1969. From there, he had helped develop Music Valley.
He began opening a business on what was referred to as the old Rudy Farms site. In 1977, he teamed up with the legendary Jerry Reed to open the Nashville Palace. Over the years, it was one of the premier starting points for legendary country icons like Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, Lorrie Morgan, and Ricky Van Shelton, among others. It was also reported that Travis Tritt even washed the dishes there!
He is also a devout Catholic and would often raise money for the Diocese of Nashville as well as certain charities. Mayor David Briley has expressed his pride in Hobbs in a statement that he had released.
“Johnny Hobbs served our nation and our city well during his long, proud life. He was a pioneer of the Music Valley area with his hotels, restaurants and museums, and John A’s remains a hub of Nashville’s political scene to this day. We will miss him.”
Former Nashville Post Ken Whitehouse has referred to Hobbs and his family as deeply involved with the life of the city.
“His vision gave everyone from Randy Travis to tomorrow’s country stars their start in this town. John A. Hobbs and the Hobbs family are essentially involved in the life of the city for the better. From downtown to Music Valley, they have worked across party lines to make Music City what it is today.”
Hobb’s funeral is set on the 18th of June Tuesday. It will be held at Nashville’s Church of the Holy Rosary. There will also be visitation hours on the 17th of June, on Monday, and on Tuesday.
Grand Ole Opry, John A. Hobbs, Nashville, Nashville Palace
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