NASHVILLE, Tennessee, Feb. 8, 2022 – The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum has launched a free-to-access website that uses curated archival materials from the museum’s collection to explore the history of Nashville’s Music Row and its creative community of recording artists, songwriters, studio musicians and producers, record companies, music publishers and other music business professionals. Funded through a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission’s Access to Historical Records: Major Initiatives grant program, the Historic Music Row: Nashville's Creative Crossroads highlights 15 landmark businesses and organizations as representatives of the hundreds that have contributed to Music Row’s cultural significance. Online visitors can also follow the footsteps of six Country Music Hall of Fame members to understand how Music Row and its essential services played an important role in their music careers.
Music Row is the historic hub of Nashville’s music industry. Established in the mid-1950s, by 1979, over 600 music-centric businesses were located within a few blocks of each other in the compact former residential neighborhood. In 2015, the National Park Service’s National Trust for Historic Preservation designated Music Row as a “National Treasure.” In 2019, the neighborhood, rapidly losing music-centric businesses and buildings to new development, was placed on the organization’s annual list of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.”
Some of American music’s most enduring recordings were created on Music Row: pop hits like “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” by Elvis Presley, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee, “Heart of Gold” by Neil Young, “Drift Away” by Dobie Gray, “Lay Lady Lay” by Bob Dylan, “Everlasting Love” by Robert Knight, and country classics like “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones, “Crazy” by Patsy Cline, “If Tomorrow Never Comes” by Garth Brooks, “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” by Charley Pride, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” by Loretta Lynn and many more. These are just a few of the thousands of memorable songs and recordings created on Music Row. Countless creative individuals have contributed to these songs, to Music Row’s unique creative community and to Nashville’s broad musical influence.
Through this interactive website, visitors can explore a map of select locations on Music Row and learn about each through historic video and film clips, music recordings, interview excerpts, historic photographs, correspondence and more—much of the content available for the first time online—from the museum’s Frist Library & Archives.
Featured locations include the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Bradley’s Studios/Columbia Studios, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), Capitol Records, Cedarwood Publishing, the original Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Decca Records, Jack’s Tracks/Allentown Studios, Monument Records, Nashville Association of Musicians, RCA Studio A, RCA Studio B, Tree Publishing/Sony Music Publishing, Quadraphonic Studios/Sienna Studios and the Wil-Helm Agency and Sure-Fire Music/Charley Pride offices. An additional feature allows visitors to learn how Country Music Hall of Fame members Harold Bradley, Loretta Lynn, Roger Miller, Dolly Parton, Webb Pierce and Charley Pride built their careers on Music Row.
An essential part of the project and the museum’s ongoing archival preservation and access efforts was the museum’s digitization of more than 4,000 photographs, 1,250 audio interviews and 570 films and videos, all of which can now be accessed through the museum’s digital archive. In addition, each of the featured location pages includes a targeted link to the museum’s digital archive, which enables users to do further exploration of digital assets that are relevant to the location.
A selection of these archival materials is presented in the pages of the Historic Music Row: Nashville's Creative Crossroads. Examples include:
- More than 80 video and film clips of interviews and performances, including recording sessions at Music Row studios with such artists as Eddy Arnold, David Allan Coe, Waylon Jennings, Roger Miller and Dottie West.
- Spoken-word audio materials consisting of interviews and oral histories.
- Samples of more than 160 song recordings.
- Photography from recording sessions, live performances, artist publicity kits, awards shows and more.
Historic Music Row: Nashville's Creative Crossroads is made possible by a major grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission’s Access to Historical Records: Major Initiatives grant program.
To view this resource and for additional information, visit musicrow.countrymusichalloffame.org/.
About the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum:
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum collects, preserves and interprets country music and its history for the education and entertainment of diverse audiences. In exhibits, publications and educational programs, the museum explores the cultural importance and enduring beauty of the art form. The museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and is among the 10 most-visited history museums in the U.S. The Country Music Foundation operates Historic RCA Studio B®, Hatch Show Print® poster shop, CMF Records, the Frist Library and Archive and CMF Press. Museum programs are supported in part by Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and Tennessee Arts Commission.
More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at www.countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.