In fact, there are several museums and not all of them are music related (well, I’m taking a punt on that because we didn’t look for those). But, without a doubt one of the highlights so far has been our visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
The Hall of Fame has been the home of America’s music since 1967 and is now housed in new buildings opened in 2001. Our hotel was across the road and also two blocks from Lower Broadway where the honky-tonk bars are (see a later post on those).
The museum has a huge range of displays on just about all the country music singers/bands/musicians who have had an influence on the history. Everything flows in a wonderful chronological order and you can get the best out of the displays by paying an extra couple of bucks for a self-guided audio tour. Seeing old movies, clips, stage costumes, instruments and listening – I thought it was great – especially the early stuff.
There was a great display devoted to Hank Williams and his family. Other highlights included Carl Perkins’ blue suede shoes, one of Elvis’ Cadillacs and another car from a singer whose name escapes me but his car was something else – there are some pictures of this. There are also a few pictures of some of the great clothes the country singers wear (many of these were all hand-sewn and designed by a Nashville tailor – Nudie) and not forgetting a few guitars. Amongst the pictures are some of Chet Atkins’ (certified guitar player) guitars, the violin that was played by the Charlie Daniels band in the classic Devil Went Down to Georgia (more on that later too), and some of Hank Williams’ gear. The painting shows pretty much where country music came from.
For a visit, highly recommended – in fact, all of Nashville is highly recommended (but if you don’t like music and drinking then maybe you won’t like it as much). But then you still have the chance to see the Predators (NHL) or the Titans (NFL) and how much development has been done around Nashville. It’s all new and it’s all within walking distance (if you stay downtown that is – we didn’t venture to where the music studios and other such things in Opreyland are located).