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VOL. 35 | NO. 24 | Friday, June 17, 2011

More ‘Pickers’ coming to TV?

By Tim Ghianni

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The Nashville Pickers aren’t a spinoff of the successful History Channel show, “American Pickers.”

But they are fans and draw some inspiration from Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz – the Laurel and Hardy of pickers who tour the nation in their Mercedes cargo van, uncovering history, as they say, one piece at a time. Their trusty cohort Danielle Colby Cushman keeps the lights burning and sales hopping at their Antique Archaeology HQ in Iowa.

“Yeah, I been watching the show since they first came on,” says Clark.

“I enjoy it,” says Rhoton.

In fact, the two men aren’t worried about news that the American Pickers are setting up another Antique Archaeology shop in Nashville’s Marathon Village, the former North Nashville auto factory.

“They collect a whole different thing than us,” Rhoton says.

“Remember when they first came on, they were just collecting parts for motorcycles and cars and things like that, then they began getting into other things.”

The American Pickers may like some of the stuff that the Nashville Pickers have. But the local guys aren’t going to be buying and selling vintage Harleys or Studebakers like the fellas from Iowa.

Of course those Iowa pickers also deal in what they call “smalls” and signs and anything else they think they can sell.

“We want people to be able to get something they can afford here,” Rhoton says. “We’re gonna have things priced where anybody can buy something.”

Not that everything is inexpensive. There s talk of selling a Rembrandt on consignment for a client.

By the way, don’t be too surprised if you see these fellows on TV, like Mike and Frank or any of the other “copycat” shows that sort through people’s trinkets and trunks.

A pilot for “Nashville Pickers” is being shot and the partners hope they’ll be showing off both styles of picking on television.

It even has a theme song, composed by Clark and Noah and Jesse Bellamy – sons of David Bellamy of the Bellamy Brothers.

Some of the lyrical tinkering even was born in this storefront, says Clark, as he turns on the sound system to showcase the tune.

When it’s done, he smiles and repeats one line; “If cool things are your thing and you pick and sing, c’mon and be a Nashville Picker.”

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