The Country Music Hall of Fame is the best place to learn about country music in Nashville, the center of the country music world and often referred to as Music City. This distinctive landmark building is located in the entertainment district of Nashville, and it also houses the Nashville Country Music Museum. It commemorates famous stars who have contributed greatly to the development of country music in America, as well as preserves local history and displays collections from the history of country music for the past 200 years.
The Country Music Hall of Fame is located on the west bank of the Cumberland River, close to Lower Broadway. The architecture of the building, which was opened in 2001, is a distinctive façade designed to look like a piano keyboard. Today, the Nashville Country Music Museum exhibits historic audio recordings, artifacts from country music's past, and video clips, and it is also a venue for live performances and other events for the public.
The Country Music Hall of Fame was first unveiled in 1967, and the first three inductees were Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, and Fred Rose, who were announced on the famous radio show about country music in Nashville, the Grand Ole Opry. The original building was located on Music Row at Sixteenth Avenue and Division Street, and grew to include educational programs, a library of country music, and even recording studios. Its rapid expansion meant a new building became necessary, and in 2000, the original building was shut down and in 2001 the new location was unveiled. However, the original bronze plaques showcasing the original three inductees to the Hall of Fame can still be viewed in the Nashville Country Music Museum's rotunda.
Today, the museum offers two-hour tours, as well as a memorable tour to the historic RCA Studio B, one of the most important recording studios in America, where over 150 Elvis Presley songs were recorded. Tours to the studio depart from the Nashville Country Music Museum daily, and tickets are only available if you also purchase admission to the museum. If you are planning to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, consider purchasing one of the museum's packages, that include admission to both the Museum and RCA Studio B, as well as other tours.
On your trip to the Country Music Hall of Fame, don't forget to pay a visit to Hatch Show Print, a historic letterprint press located close to the Nashville Country Music Museum on Broadway Street, and owned by the museum. Hatch Show Print's historic posters have featured many of the big names in country music in Nashville. Check out their exhibits of vintage posters and pick up a few souvenirs. The print shop is still in operation, if you would like cards or posters printed; these make a unique souvenir from any Nashville vacation.
There is also an excellent restaurant on-site, the Two Twenty Two Grill, where you can have a meal of Southern-inspired dishes. The 2Go bar is also a quick place to pick up a sandwich or two while touring the museum. The availability of good food here makes it easy to spend a full day exploring the attraction.
A trip to the Country Music Hall of Fame is a must for many visitors to Nashville, as many people come each year simply to honor their favorite country stars, visit such historic attractions as the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium, and attend one of the many concerts in the city. Fans won’t be disappointed with the detail of exhibits at this museum, and it’s a fun and interesting place to spend a day—or even two.