My first trip to Nashville, TN included a day at one of its most important historical destinations, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Equally renowned as a research institution and as a popular attraction, its three massive stories are a temple dedicated to the sonic permutations of the folk, hillbilly, western, and blues music, which have sprung from American soil.
After standing in long line for tickets, which moved rather briskly, I stood in another line for the elevator that would take me to the second floor. As instructed by the docent operating the elevator, I began my tour with a small exhibit about the Southern country rock band Alabama. From there it was simply a matter of going with the flow from one gallery to another, in which case after case displayed an assortment of historically important instruments, stage costumes, and other paraphernalia.
For me, “real country” means those artists I listened to on my parents’ kitchen radio during the 1970s. In which case, seeing one of Johnny Cash’s black suits and matching boots, Dolly Parton’s sparkling coats, or Hank Williams’ guitars brought back a flood of memories. As a museum experience, it felt very much a like a Smithsonian, only instead of seeing Lincoln’s stove pipe hat or Dorothy’s ruby slippers, you get to see the Pontiac Firebird from the Smokey and the Bandit movies. For more, please follow the link to a short photo album I created documenting my visit on Saturday, November 12, 2016: