The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is known for its excellent, informative and entertaining exhibits. Perhaps the most familiar is “Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music,” which tells the story of country music from its down-home roots to its commercial debut, then finally, how it came to be what it is today. Follow around the exhibits chronologically-organized artifacts and nameplates for a fascinating trip through country history. The exhibit focuses on cultural trends with areas like “Country During the War Years,” and follows each theme with carefully displayed artifacts. The exhibit ends at the Hall of Fame Rotunda, where the Country Music Hall of Fame members are honored.
The museum also has a number of collections relating to country music, like the “Moving Image Collection,” the “Bob Pinson Recorded Sound Collection,” “Oral History Collection,” “Still Images and Photograph Collectio”n and the “Artifact Collection.” The latter includes more than 800 stage costumes from familiar country music stars, over 600 instruments and even automobiles!
Through June 11, there will be a special exhibit highlighting the musical history of Chet Atkins. “Chet Atkins was country music’s ultimate Renaissance man, one of the greatest instrumentalists in American music history and a true musical savant,” said the Museum’s Director, Kyle Young, “His signature guitar licks shaped recordings by scores of legendary artists, including the Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley and Kitty Wells… as a producer, Chet was an architect of the “Nashville Sound.” If you’re a fan of his music, or if you’d like to learn more about Chet Atkins, the musician, man and producer, check out the Chet Atkins Exhibit.
There’s another country legend exhibit open now through December 31st that country music fans will be dying to see. “The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and California Country” celebrates the raw-edged style of country music that was born in the working-class city of Bakersfield, California. Buck Owens and Merle Haggard are two household names today, but visit the museum and learn about how success wasn’t always their trademark. The museum highlights the cultural influences on their music from the 1930s to the 1950s, and gives a somewhat broader view of the two legends’ place in the world of country. For a more in-depth look at the Bakersfield music community, visit the museum on April 11th at 12:30 pm, where Norm Hamlet, Don Markham and Fuzzy Owen will be discussing both their musical relationship with Haggard and their own experiences with Bakersfield’s musical culture.
If you’re visiting Nashville for the music scene, I highly suggest you see this museum. There are tons of lodging options nearby, including the Hilton Nashville Downtown, the Doubletree Hotel Nashville-Downtown and the Renaissance Nashville Hotel, all of which are within half a mile of the museum. Also be sure to visit the staple of any Nashville vacation, the Grand Ole Opry, so you can see all of your favorite musicians live