From its historic collections of video clips and music recordings found in the First Library and Archive to its featured exhibits, explore the fascinating history of country music as it is told through the turn of two centuries.
History of the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum
The original Country Music Hall of Fame Museum was opened in 1967 on Nashville’s Music Row. It served as an educational body, the home to CMF Press, CMF Records, the Country Music Foundation Library and as a historic site to RCA Studio B and Hatch Snow Print. While the original Country Music Hall of Fame closed its doors in 2000, it didn’t take long for it to reopen. In 2001 it opened its new doors just ten blocks away from its original location.
The First Three Inductees
The Country Music Hall of Fame chose its first 3 inductees long before it opened in 1967. It was announced at the CMA banquet in 1961 that Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose and Hank Williams would be the first men inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum. Their bronze plaques and thumbnail biographies remained in the Tennessee State Museum until they were moved to the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum in 1967.
The Country Music Hall of Fame Museum continuously works to bring their guests innovative exhibits. From the museum’s core exhibit “Sing Me Back Home”, to featured exhibits that explore country music’s roots and culture, discover the past and present of country music.
Sing Me Back Home: A Journey through Country Music
The Country Music Hall of Fame Museum’s core exhibit “Sing Me Back Home” is made up of photographs, recordings and interactive media that allow you to explore how country music has evolved over the years. Discover the history, sounds, meanings and lives of country’s honored personalities.
Don’t Miss the Archive Spotlight Series
The Archive Spotlight Series is an informal exhibit that captures certain themes and aspects of “Sing Me Back Home”. If your time is limited, the Archive Spotlight Series is the perfect place to get a glimpse of the core exhibit’s highlights.
The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and California Country
Started in Bakersfield, California in the 1960s, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard were two of the most successful musicians known for their Bakersfield Sound, an unrefined style of country music. Listen to the piercing sounds of electric guitars and no-nonsense lyrics. The Bakersfield Sound is still a prominent part of the country music scene to this day.
Taylor Swift:Speak Now Treasures from a World Tour
Delight in the costumes, instruments, set pieces and props from Taylor Swift’s award winning world tour “Speak Now” and uncover the secrets behind the show that entertained over 1.5 million fans.
Patsy Cline: Crazy for Loving You
Pay tribute to one of country music’s legends. This biographical exhibit explores the life of the iconic Patsy Cline and the significant impact she had on country music. From a touching film to other costumes, personal possessions and photographs, learn about the powerful artist as her story unfolds through many of her own words.
Delve into the First Library and Archive’s extraordinary collections containing images and videos, sound recordings, oral histories and artifacts that have been collected for over a period of 40 years.
Moving Image Collection
Containing over 23,000 moving images on nine different formats, the museum’s Moving Picture Collection allows you to take a unique look into the history of country music. With materials dating back to the 1920’s, the Moving Image Collection provides its visitors with an in-depth look into the changes of country music over the years.
Bob Pinson Recorded Sound Collection
Named in honor of record collector, historian and dedicated staff member at the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum, the Bob Pinson Recorded Sound Collection contains over 200,000 recorded cylinders and discs. Listen to one-of-a-kind recordings and don’t forget to look for the only remaining radio transcription disk of the first network radio broadcast of the Grand Ol Opry.
Oral History Collection
Containing over 650 interviews, the Oral History Collection is an ongoing project that was started in 1974. Discover remarkable interviews with performers, recording artists, songwriters and a variety of other individuals involved in the country music industry.
Still Images and Photographs Collection
Images related to country and folk music can be found in the Still Images and Photographs Collection. Enjoy photographs that date back to the 1920s as they bring the story of country music to life.
From unusual stage costumes to instruments played by country legends, the Country Music Hall of Fame houses an extensive collection of remarkable artifacts that document country music’s past.
Two Twenty Two Grill
Once you’ve explored the fascinating exhibits and collections at the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum, take some time to rejuvenate at the museum’s onsite Two Twenty Two Grill. Whether you are after a light snack, or a large lunch, Two Twenty Two Grill offers something for every palette. From pastries and deserts made from scratch on a daily basis to homemade pizzas, soups and salads, Two Twenty Two Grill boasts the best homemade foods.
Take something special home for a loved one or something for yourself. The Country Music Hall of Fame Museum offers an array of souvenirs, CDs, DVDs, autographed items and exhibit related merchandise that you can cherish for a lifetime.