How American pickers once blocked several streets in Nashville

Back in 2011, American Gatherers was a far cry from the pop culture phenomenon it has become over the past half century. At the time, the fledgling hit “History” was still carving out a corner in the increasingly crowded landscape of cable TV reality shows. And during the downtown shutdown initiated by the American Assemblers team, it’s unclear if Mike Wolfe’s antique archeology store in Nashville was even open. However, by that time, the reality TV star was already calling Music City his home, so it’s not surprising that he moved production to the city.

As to why the American Gatherers shut down several city blocks in Nashville, the gang took over those blocks to film an intricate promo for the show. Said promo filmed Mike and his longtime co-star Frank Fritz in full scale musical production of “American Pickers”. The ad was inspired by the iconic Dr. Pepper. “I’m Pepper” A campaign in which American Werewolf London star David Naughton performed a heavy song-and-dance ditty about joining the Dr. Pepper-loving masses.

The “American Pickers” version has understandably less dancing from frontmen Wolfe and Fritz, although the duo appear to have sung themselves. However, the ad features a plethora of background artists that more than make up for Mike and Frank’s overall lack of movement. And given the overproduction of advertising, it’s easy to see why a couple of blocks in downtown Nashville had to be shuttered for the magic to happen.

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