Saturday, June 23, 2007

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum at Nashville, TN

Life in The Upper South...

Dennis had an appointment yesterday at the VA Hospital in Nashville. When we finally finished there, we decided to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. (It's true -- in 16 years of living 90 minutes from Nashville, we had never visited the Country Music Hall of Fame!)

The front of the building sweeps to a high peak on one end. I couldn't get it all in my camera from any position I tried. I think a wide-angle lens might have helped. However, here is the museum from the side, with a huge banner advertising the Ray Charles exhibit that is currently featured.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Here are some photos from the museum. (Most are less than 150k in size.) It was very dark in there, but these images were captured without flash, as the museum requests.

A very young Johnny Cash
Detail of Gene Autry's guitar
Old show bills from Hatch Show Print
Old sheet music
Tex Ritter's saddle
Wurlitzer jukebox
Minnie Pearl's dress
Costume-maker, Nudie, honored
Jim Reeves "Touch of Velvet"
Flatt & Scruggs guitar and banjo
Detail of Merle Travis's guitar
Bill Monroe's Gibson Mandolin
Patsy Cline's blue dress
Chet Atkins's D'Angelico Excel
Faron Young's guitar and a costume
Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys
Hank Snow costumes
Early photo of Ray Charles
Roy Rogers, "Bells of San Angelo"

Johnny Cash's guitar
Johnny Cash's battered and scratched Martin guitar

In the photo above, the reflection in the glass is a wall of platinum and gold record albums. They are displayed in the order that they occurred. Some of them open out, and you can listen to selections from that album.

In fact (brace yourself for the shock!), there are many places in the museum where you can listen to music, watch videos of performances, listen to interviews with stars, etc. Much of the museum's ongoing preservation and research is centered on its immense archive of country music recordings.

The Country Music Hall of Fame is housed in the rotunda, a large, light room. It would be possible to browse for quite a while there. Every inductee has a bronze plaque mounted on the wall, with an image of his or her face and some biographical information.

It was late in the afternoon when we left the Country Music Hall of Fame, but we still had a few minutes to walk a block down to Broadway, Nashville's famous honky-tonk street. The Ryman Auditorium, historic home of the Grand Old Opry, is right behind Tootsie's, the purple building in the photo below.

Honky-tonks in NashvilleTootsie's and other honky-tonks and tourist traps on Broadway

On Broadway, we visited the Ernest Tubb Record Shop where Isaac bought a CD of Johnny Cash hits. (He's always been a closet Johnny Cash fan.)

We listened to it on the way home. It was fun hearing Isaac's reactions to some old songs he hadn't heard before, such as "One Piece at a Time," the song about a car built from many years of parts stolen from the automobile factory.

More images:
Many images of the Country Music Hall of Fame on Flickr
Another image search for Country Music Hall of Fame on Flickr

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John Ruberry said...

One Piece At A Time...from Cash's "lost period." Good song.

Genevieve said...

I really enjoyed listening to that album of one good song after another. It was a reminder that Johnny Cash was a great star with a long career. It was amazing to see his worn guitar (and the well-worn instruments of many other stars.)

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