Willie Nelson is simply unique to me. There is hardly any doubt that he is an absolute legend in country music. While Nashville is featuring a Johnny Cash Museum, a Patsy Cline Museum or a Glen Campbell one, Willie does not have his very own and personal place of honor. However, Music City is featuring the Willie Nelson and Friends Museum and Nashville Souvenirs, which is combining a souvenir store with a music museum. I visited the place as part of my ninth day schedule of the Pittsburgh Penguins support trip in March 2022.
Willie Nelson and Friends Museum – Location & Admission
Willie Nelson and Friends Museum is located in Music Valley. Cooter’s Place is practically a neighbor of it. The museum and the souvenir store are located in one building. The front of the place is the souvenir store, the museum is located in the rear. In general I would recommend to visit this part of Nashville by car. This may either be a rental car or an Uber. The Grand Ole Opry (see my show review of the same day) and the Opry Mills Mall is not too far away. I drove a GMC Acadia rental car with Avis.
The store and museum are opening daily. Opening times are 9:00 to 19:00 hrs, Friday and Saturday come with a one hour later closing. Admission to the museum is 9.95 USD. You pay the entrance fee at the cashier desk of the souvenir store and then head towards the museum doors (see below).
Willie Nelson and Friends Museum – The Shop
Nowadays, there is a wide range of souvenir stores. The one at Willie Nelson and Friends Museum and Nashville Souvenirs is definitely one of the largest I know – but I would finally not recommend to go to Music Valley just for the shop. Finally, it is anyway just a minor part of this review. I just felt to mention the store first as you cannot avoid to visit the store first before you head into the museum.
Willie Nelson and Friends Museum – The Visit
The museum entrance is at the very rear of the store. The large sign on the wall will secures that you just cannot miss it. You have to be aware that the place is not a Willie Nelson museum, but the Willie Nelson and Friends Museum. While a lot of the furniture and other major exhibits in the center of the rooms are really related to Willie Nelson, a major of the items in the showcases at the walls may also feature a lot of other artists. Nonetheless, the museum has a nice atmosphere and includes some really interesting items like a Willie Nelson movie director seat, his old pool table or just a bunch of pictures. However, I was rather surprised that Lukas Nelson was not that present in the museum, in contrast to other Nelson family members.
Due to the many artists featured, the museum somehow feels like a tiny version of the Country Music Hall of Fame, addding some related genres. I absolutely liked that, but you need to be aware what you get. I loved the statues you see on the first pictures below as well as the collection of silver and golden records. A vast part of the larger items in the glass cabinets are stage outfits by Nashville music legends.
Willie Nelson and Friends Museum – My View
I feel the Willie Nelson and Friends Museum (I don’t rate the souvenir store as such) is a good place. Yeah, the museum could be more focused on Willie himself. On the other hands, the items in display are good and the price is right, especially compared to some Broadway rip-offs. Willie Nelson is just supporting this museum, but not driving it. Maybe one day he will get the place he definitely deserves – so far, this one is a good alternative.
Music Legends on Flyctory.com
Who belongs to the music legends? Here on Flyctory.com, it’s only me who decides on this: