‘MTSU On the Record’ rocks the house with Exit/In’...

‘MTSU On the Record’ rocks the house with Exit/In’s 50 years of live music history

The entrance of the Exit/In, a live music venue in Nashville since 1971 at 2208 Elliston Place, is shown in this file image with an inset photo of MTSU doctoral student Jennifer Ruch at left and logos for the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU and WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 . (Exit/In photo by Ryan Green/The Exit/In)

MTSU doctoral student Jennifer Ruch, left, and her work to preserve the legendary Exit/In, a live music venue in Nashville since 1971, are the subject of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program that aired Nov. 30 and Dec. 5 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and Also shown are the logos for the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU and for WMOT-FM Roots Radio. (Exit/In photo by Ryan Green/The Exit/In)

A Middle Tennessee State University doctoral student’s effort to preserve a legendary Nashville music venue and have it listed on the National Register of Historic Places was the subject of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Jennifer Ruch, a doctoral candidate in MTSU’s Public History Program, first aired Nov. 30 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and

Jennifer Ruch, doctoral candidate in MTSU's public history program and adjunct professor of history (Photo submitted)

Jennifer Ruch

Gina K. Logue, MTSU News and Media Relations specialist

Gina K. Logue

You can listen to their conversation via the SoundCloud link above.

With assistance from Dr. Carroll Van West, director of MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation who also serves as Tennessee state historian, Ruch is conducting research into the history of the Exit/In, a live music venue located at 2208 Elliston Place that opened in 1971.

The area around it, which has included bars, restaurants, record stores, tattoo parlors and clothing shops over the years, has come to be known as “The Rock Block.”

The Historical Commission of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County installed an historical marker on Elliston Place in 2020 honoring the Rock Block and its contributions to Nashville.

“To see a space that still exists, that is still thriving, that is so community-centered … and committed to diversity in the way that it shows performances is really telling of the importance of it,” Ruch said.

Center for Historic Preservation logoRuch also is an adjunct professor in the MTSU Department of History and a doctoral resident at the Center for Historic Preservation. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.

Her doctoral dissertation focuses on the blending of punk music and American roots music in the South, Southwest and West during the early 1980s into a genre that came to be known as “cowpunk.”

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about the radio program, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.