When in the home of country music, you kinda have to, right? After a morning of exploring Nashville, and lunch, we headed to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Now, country music isn’t the most likely genre I’d be pumping through my headphones. I mean, I do really enjoy it, and loved hearing it live, but it’s rarely a go-to genre for me. (Having said that, I’ve listened to it a lot more since my trip!). But I felt like it was a kinda important thing to see in ‘Music City’, so we strolled over a few blocks to have a look around.
We found out when we arrived that if you went in an hour before closing, admission was half price. Bargain. So we had ourselves sixty minutes to explore the entire history of country music. Challenge accepted.
This is probably more of a photo/personal post than anything else – there’s loads to read on country music out there so if you’re interested, you can pick up lots of info from someone far more knowledgable than I. But I wanted to talk about some of my favourite bits, why I enjoyed them, and why I feel like they’re pretty awesome to see whether you’re a big time country fan or not.
The Country Music Hall of Fame basically takes you on a timeline trip through the evolution of country music. From the super early days, filled with musicians I’d never heard of, through to Dylan and Cash, and right into the now, with the likes of Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.
I particularly liked seeing all the old stage costumes from country stars. Honestly, there were a lot of names I didn’t recognise, so it was pretty cool to check out who everything belonged to and the impact those people had on the country scene. How epic are the boots in the bottom picture, right? They make me want a pair even more than I did already. And I wanted some already quite a lot.
One of the areas I was most interested in was the Bob Dylan/Johnny Cash exhibits, and I spent a good whack of time looking at the exhibits. Probably two of the biggest influencers of modern music, not just in the country sphere, there were all kinds of artefacts to take in – from demo records to a poster of Dylan’s first major booking. And, of course, a suit belonging to the ‘Man In Black’ (Cash) himself.
As well as the artefacts and quotes plastered on the walls, the musuem also has a video area where they loop early performances from country’s biggest stars. Dolly Parton? Such a babe. I always sung along to her songs after too many ciders, but never really appreciated her actual talent until watching videos of her early performances. Seriously, that lady could (and still can!) siiiing.
Hi Taylor Swift’s sparkly guitar. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a musical instrument this much in my entire life. LOOK HOW FABULOUS IT IS.
Taylor Swift plays a huge part in Nashville’s more recent country music history, despite her music taking much more of a turn for the pop world in the past few years. There’s a whole section, The Taylor Swift Education Center, where the museum offer hands-on experiences of country music culture. There are workshops and talks for all ages, from schoolchildren to adults, and also some of Taylor’s fabulous stage outfits on display. (Also, for reals, after seeing those, SHE IS TINY. AND TALL.)
There are lots of other bits I haven’t even mentioned – walls of gold records, and of course, the iconic hall of fame itself, filled with plaques depicting country superstars who’ve shaped the genre, Nashville’s country scene, and the overall evolution of music over the past decade.
Obviously, the visit was quite rushed as we didn’t have long to look around – but for casual country fans who just want a taste of the museum, it’s a great way of seeing it cheaply. Although, if you want to go more in-depth with all the exhibits, I’d recommend you do spend the extra hours here as there’s a lot to experience.
Are you a country music fan? Would you visit the museum?