Looking back on City Without a Subway 38 Years Later

A little history lesson: back in 1986 a compilation record was released called City Without a Subway that served as a benefit record for WRVU 91.1 and as a showcase for ten up-and-coming local talents. That may not sound all that spectacular here in 2024 but back in 1986, it was no small feat. Vinyl copies were pressed up, now famed folk artist Rev. Howard Finster was brought on to create the cover painting (you likely know him from his Talking Heads or REM album covers) and live showcase events were put together to promote the bands.

Fast forward to modern times: The Nashvillian has put together a fantastic short film called City Without a Subway 1986 that looks back on the multiple showcases surrounding the compilation, how The Nashville Network (TNN) got involved and where a handful of the bands are now. The Steve Boyle directed piece is only about 12 minutes long but it packs in a lot of insightful information and some incredible vintage footage (there’s a Webb Wilder clip is out of this world). It goes without saying, it’s worth watching.

When you’re done with that, take a few minutes to watch the full performances of The Movement, Bill Lloyd and the aforementioned Webb Wilder.