Because I am working during the week now, when we arrive at a new city I am being somewhat choosy about the things I want to do. Not only am I limited to the weekends, but I am also fighting the crowds. I have found that the best way to handle it is to pick my very favorite thing and do it first thing on Sunday morning. That way I can enjoy it and skedaddle out when it starts to get crowded.
After much research I chose the Country Music Hall of Fame and when we arrived we added a special tour of RCA Studio B. All in it was $45 a person with both tickets, but it was definitely worth it. We took more pictures than I can share here, but I will show enough to give you an idea of the place. Again, from my perspective definitely worth the ticket.
Oh and before I start I should probably mention that I grew up with country music, but in my teen years was definitely a rock and pop fan. Later in life (around when Garth became famous) I expanded my listening back to country music, but I am definitely not a super fan or anything. If you are a super fan, you definitely don’t want to miss this museum.
In the middle of this floor they also had two custom cars. I’ve seen tons of cars on my travels, but these were both really special.
After we finished the first floor (which is actually Floor 3 of the museum) we walked down to get on a tour bus to Studio B. Along the walls they had a fabulous selection of gold and platinum records and it was fun taking our pictures in front of them.
In general Lee and I are not big fans of tours, but in some cases they are the only way to get to the cool thing. Along the ride I learned a lot about the history, I did find the tour guide to be a little preachy and repetitive. That being said I still absolutely recommend this tour because It is the only way you can be in this space.
The story is this small studio was built in the 1960’s and 45,000 recordings were made here. Of those 1,000 were certified hits and 240 of those were made by Elvis. The #2 artist who also made recordings in this studio was Charlie Pride. This was the first real studio Elvis recorded in when he was starting out and the space is all original except for the lighting.
All in this tour was roughly an hour (including driving to and from), but again totally worth it. When we went back to the museum we asked to start on floor two and they allowed us to ride an elevator to that floor. This started in the 70s and Willie Nelson aside this is not my favorite time in country music.
The 80s was a little better but again not my favorite time in history.
The most disappointing part of the museum (for me at least) was the more current stuff. For some reason I couldn’t find anything owned by Garth Brooks and there was lots of stuff for lesser known artists, but less from more current people. Really not sure why that was although throughout the museum Taylor Swift was featured prominently.
Along the way they also had some cool interactive things, like a giant record player and a guitar you could climb into. And there was a beautiful rotunda with the Hall of Fame plaques that was built with some acoustical significance. I am not a musician so I didn’t really get it, but Lee thought it was super cool.
Really great visit and we were completely done by lunchtime when it started to get crowded. We have had a lot of success seeing museums first thing in the morning, and if you are willing to get up early I highly recommend it.
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