Nashville is Music City – and what would music be without the musicians? The band members, which create the right sounds to form the sound of a band or a solo artist – or also the studio musicians, which are skilled and talented, but rarely receive the applause of the masses on stage. Nashville is honoring the musicians in its very own (and typically American) way. Right in the center of Nashville, there is the Musicians Hall off Fame – which is combined with the corresponding museum. I visited the place during a summer 2023 trip.
Musicians Hall of Fame – Location & Admission
The Hall of Fame and the museum is located on the lowest level of the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. The some 10k spectator indoor sports and entertainment venue has been opened in 1962, but is nowadays rarely used compared to other venues the the Ryaman Auditorium or Bridgestone Arena. The museum does not interfere with concert operations though. Toegehter with the Hall of Fame, it has been established in 2006. The area does host some homeless people, but is overall safe and also just a short walk away from Downtown Nashville.
The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum is open from 10:00 to 17:00, Monday to Saturday. Access to the museum is from 401 Gay Street. Adult admission is 28 USD.
Musicians Hall of Fame – The Visit
The museum follows a wide concept. You are not just only introduced to (what they believe to be) the world most famous musicians, but you shall also lean and feel what it means to produce music. Thereby, the Musicians Hall of Fame leverages between having a lot of interesting items in display, like original music instruments or studio equipment, but also being very interactive. Last but not least, the audio guide and sound stations allow you to listen to the music.
The museum roughly follows a chronological approach. You already see in the first pictures how rich the place in fact is. Very early, you also run into legendary places like Stax Records in Memphis or the original studio Elvis Presley used to record some of his most famous songs, like Suspicious Minds and In the Ghetto. The genres featured are far more than country music. The museum also displays and original Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster and music instruments played by Elton John, for example. However, what I especially liked is that you run into a lot of names you did not know so far, who did great effort in creating and recording songs for famous artists.
Your first step towards a Grammy?
A very nice idea is the collaboration of the museum with The Recording Academy, who release the Grammy Award. In an interactive exhibition, you can play / try out several instruments and even do karaoke with Ray Charles. Thus, you step by step are able to do an own record.
However, in later parts of your visit, you run into many more famous names, including Les Paul or Johnny Cash.
Musicians Hall of Fame – Services
At the entrance, there is also a quite nice store with some souvenir shirts, records and other items just as you would expect them to be there. The staff was very friendly during my stay.
Musicians Hall of Fame – My View
It’s quite a shame that this place is a bit of hidden in Nashville, especially compared to the overwhelming (and dominating) Country Music Hall of Fame. First of all, the location is a just but remote, the building itself is not that welcoming and not as representative as the major music museum in the city. However, the Musicians Hall of Fame is really a great visit and tells you so much about the people who are really driving the recording of music. Absolutely recommend to visit this place when you are at the Cumberland River. .
These are all articles, in which I dealt with events and places influencing musical history: