Robert’s Western World To Take Over Broadway

Robert’s Western World To Take Over Broadway

On August 5th, Robert’s Western World will celebrate its 25th year under the proprietorship of JesseLee Jones, the leader of its house band, Brazilbilly. Robert’s is taking over the stretch of Lower Broadway between Fourth and Fifth Avenues just outside of the venue for a block party. The festivities are free and will begin at 10:00 am CT, with bands and special guests performing until 11:00 pm CT between two stages. The lineup will be announced shortly.

The bar and grill inside will be serving up their world-famous “Recession Special” – a fried bologna sandwich, Lay’s potato chips, a Moon Pie, and a cold PBR – still just $6.

Located on Lower Broadway in the famous historic district of downtown Nashville, Tennessee, Robert’s Western World stands in the shadow of the Mother Church of Country Music, the Ryman Auditorium – the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. Over the last century, the building that is now home to Robert’s has been used as a warehouse, an office space for river merchants, and for a variety of other purposes. From the late 1950s to the early 1980s – the heyday of country music – the building served as the home of the Sho-Bud Steel Guitar Company, but, by the early 1980s, the Lower Broadway district had fallen on hard times. In the early 90s, honky tonk entrepreneur Robert Wayne Moore opened Rhinestone Western Wear, which evolved into internationally-renowned live entertainment venue, Robert’s Western World. On August 5, 1999, Moore decided to pass the torch and sold the business to musician JesseLee Jones.

JesseLee Jones

By purchasing Robert’s Western World in 1999, Jones, together with his wife, Emily Ann, has fulfilled his life-long dream of being a business owner and musical performer in America, on a mission to keep traditional country music alive. Broadway is ever-changing, but Robert’s Western World, family-owned and operated and the last of the true honky tonks, remains a constant, protecting and celebrating the music that made Music City.

From his humble, and at times troubled, beginnings in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Jones was influenced by an eclectic repertoire of musical styles. After discovering old-time gospel, traditional country, and rockabilly music, he set his sights on a music career in America. Jones immigrated to the U.S. in 1984 and, after a long and rocky journey, he found himself in Peoria, Illinois. Robbed of his belongings on a Greyhound bus on his first day in the country, and unable to speak the language, he was taken in by a family associated with his church. Jones worked hard babysitting, cooking, doing household chores, and delivering newspapers on a long driving route, in exchange for room and board.

Jones moved to Nashville in the early ’90s and set about the hard work of making a name for himself in Music City. It was Moore who first recognized Jones’ potential and booked him to play Robert’s Western World in the spring of 1995. Robert’s house band at the time, BR-549, called Jones the “Brazilian Hillbilly,” and he became known as Brazilbilly. Since then, the band has gained much popularity and recognition playing as the house band at Robert’s Western World for the past 29 years, performing a regular Friday and Saturday night set. The band has played many other venues and events, including a performance for Vice President Al Gore as the results of the 2000 Presidential Election were announced.

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About Jerry Holthouse

Music editor for Nashville.com. Jerry Holthouse is a content writer, songwriter and a graphic designer. He owns and runs Holthouse Creative, a full service creative agency. He is an avid outdoorsman and a lover of everything music. You can contact him at JerryHolthouse@Nashville.com

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