Travelling clockwise around Columbine Park in Berry Hill, coming from Bransford Avenue, the last fence you come to in the series of murals done by Scott Guion is also the largest of all the fences. Well, almost the last – the smallest of the fences is behind this one, and you can see it in the main photo at top. I’ll feature it in a later post. These are also the only two of these murals that face east. Like the all the others in this series, they were of course sponsored by the Nashville branch of the House of Blues, which has since been sold to the Universal Music Group. (That story has a picture of Guion working on the first fence I featured in this series.)
The big fence seems a little worse for wear. It may simply be that it’s one of the oldest, but there is evidence that vines are some other plants were attached to it at some point, and the fact that it has greeted the rising sun for a few years seems to have faded it, and may have contributed to some of the flaking.
Like the other murals around the park, it presents an eclectic mix, though this one is particularly strong with heavy hitters. When arguably Neil Young or Louis Armstrong is the least famous of the group, you know you are dealing with some of the biggest stars around.
The first three figures are responsible for writing and popularizing a large part of the American songbook. Guion here follows the pattern of the rest of the fences, in that there is no real pattern to the ages he’s chosen for his subjects. Stevie Wonder is shown appearing to be in his 20s. A bit more surprising are the portraits of Merle Haggard and Armstrong, both of whom are shown much younger than they are usually depicted, but of course both had very long careers.
Billie Holiday is shown with her trademark gardenias. The Michael Jackson image is based on a picture taken in the early 1980s. The image of Neil Young is one that has been widely circulated, and appears to be from about 1972.
The image of Loretta Lynn is also one that has been widely circulated. It’s a publicity shot from 1962 by Michael Ochs. And while I couldn’t track down the precise image of The Beatles, it’s from around the same time, 1962 or ’63, making them all about ten years younger than Lynn in her portrait. And for the half-a-dozen people on the planet who don’t know, that’s Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison.
See Part 1 of this series for why I’m just now writing about these murals. Spoiler alert: You can finally park in Berry Hill.
Located at 2801 Columbine Place at the corner of Columbine Place (west) and East Iris Drive. The mural faces the park. Parking is available around the park.