A Melodic Journey through Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame
Nashville holidays resonate with the distinct sound of American country music. Nowhere does it play louder than at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, home of country music since 1967.
Music permeates through every nook and cranny of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Designed by local architecture firm Tuck Hinton Architects, its new exteriors feature windows resembling huge piano keys. Adjacent to the windows is a round edifice topped with a diamond-shaped tower, a miniature version of WSM tower, the symbol of Nashville radio station KWSM. Surrounding the tower are round discs, representing country music CDs and records. If seen from above, the whole structure looks like a bass clef.
Nashville’s 41 years of country music history unfold inside the hall, which is speckled with video clips, records, and music memorabilia. There are two permanent exhibits in the museum: Sing Me Back Home (A Journey through Country Music) and the Hall of Fame Rotunda.
Sing Me Back Home takes visitors on a “multi-layered journey through the life of country music” using artefacts, original recordings, and touch-screen interactive media. The first two floors of the museum unveil the history of country music, showcasing glass-encased music relics with labels such as “Country During the War Years.” Photos, instruments, and costumes add to a more vivid experience of the music style’s development through the decades. Included in the exhibit is a two-floor archives section featuring the museum’s entire music collection, offering a peek into the rich and fascinating past of the music that shaped the city.
The Hall of Fame Rotunda is a permanent exhibit boasting of the big names in country music. Dotting the entire room are bronze plaques of the inductees, including Emmylou Harris, Alabama, the Everly Brothers, Dolly Parton, and Elvis Presley. Plaques of the newest members of the Hall of Fame can be found next to Thomas Hart Benton’s painting, The Sources of Country Music.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum not only offers exhibits but also publications and educational programs for kids. It is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Children aged five and under are free of admission.