Redesigned Neon Sign Unveiled Outside Tootsie's Alley Entrance - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Redesigned Neon Sign Unveiled Outside Tootsie's Alley Entrance

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – One of Music City's legendary honky-tonks has unveiled a newly redesigned neon sign at alley entrance for their location downtown.

The lighting ceremony took place in the alley behind Tootsie's Orchid Lounge on 422 Broadway. The original historic sign hung for 60 years, just 37 steps from the Grand Ole Opry when it was located at the Ryman Auditorium.

"Many artists came here to relax before they performed or after they performed at the Grand Ole Opry, including my dad, Hank Williams, along with a lot of the other greats," said performer Jett Williams. "Today these 37 steps will be preserved historically, as today, country music stars make that same walk."

Tootsie's proprietor Steve Smith said they were taking back the alley and renaming it Tootsie's Orchid Lounge alley.

"The neon sign we have unveiled today is the original sign that hung for nearly 60 years, reminding the Opry stars where to come for a good time after their Opry performance, and those stars and more are still coming," said Smith.

Several other members of the country music community were on hand for the lighting.

"We came to Nashville some years ago, and the very first place we ever sang was Tootsies," said Lee Roy, half of the country music sibling duo, The Roys.

Roy's sister, Elaine, and the other half of The Roys, said they were proud to be part of the Tootsie's community.

"We love Tootsies and everything is stands for, and tell everyone who visits Nashville they have to stop by Tootsies because there's so much history," she said.  

"If Nashville is where country music comes from, this is the classroom right here," said recording artist David Ball.

Country music artist Terri Clark said she first played Tootsies when moved to Nashville from Canada.

"As a young girl I read about all of the history at Tootsies," said country music artist Terri Clark. "It was one of the landmarks that I wanted to come to the minute I hit town."

Tootsie Bess opened the honky-tonk first named "Mom's" back in 1960. She only changed the name after finding a worker had painted the place orchid.

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