The Country Music Hall of Fame is celebrating the launch of two new sites for its vast historical resources.
The Hall of Fame is holding a star-studded groundbreaking ceremony of its new $37 million museum in downtown Nashville on June 17, just in time for the unveiling of its new website, which can now be accessed by country music fans around the world through country.com.
The groundbreaking ceremony, taking place during International Country Music Fan Fair week, will begin with the arrival of the Country Music Hall of Fame All-Guitar Marching Band under the direction of “Strum Major” Chet Atkins. Hall of Famer Atkins will lead the parade of Hall of Fame members to the site of the new facility. The band will perform “Wildwood Flower” and “You Are My Sunshine.”
Brenda Lee, Earl Scruggs, Eddy Arnold, E.W. “Bud” Wendell, Jo Walker-Meador and Kitty Wells are among the Hall of Fame members expected to be present.
With Grammy-winning artist Randy Scruggs as the music director, the music intensive program will include performances by Vince Gill, Bryan White, Randy Scruggs and Kathy Mattea. Soloists will be accompanied by the Hall of Fame All-Star Band including keyboardist John Jarvis, guitarist Randy Scruggs, electric guitarist George Marinelli, bassist Dave Pomeroy, fiddler Tammy Rogers, steel guitarist Dan Dugmore and drummer Harry Stinson.
Stars confirmed to attend include Clint Black, Steve Cropper, Kenny Chesney, Lila McCann, The Wilkinsons, Mandy Barnett, Ricky Lynn Gregg, Andy Griggs, Shane McAnally, Shane Minor and Jason Sellers.
Speakers include Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist, Metro-Davidson County Mayor Phil Bredesen and popular author/radio personality Garrison Keillor, who serves as honorary chariman of the Hall of Fame’s $15 million capital campaign.
Participants also include MCA Records Nashville Chairman Bruce Hinton and country star Marty Stuart, respectively chairman and president of the Hall of Fame’s Board of Trustees; retired Gaylord Entertainment CEO E.W. “Bud” Wendell, chair, capital campaign; museum designer Ralph Appelbaum; and Hall of Fame Director Kyle Young.
Festivities will include the unveiling of a temporary sculpture, 300-feet wide by 110-feet high, designed and created especially for this occasion.
The 45-minute scheduled ceremony will conclude with a final performance of the capital campaign theme song “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” dedicated to current and future Hall of Fame members, and including the voices of Hall of Fame members and all the country luminaries present.
The new 136,000 square-foot, four-story Hall of Fame is scheduled to open in May 2001 at Fifth Avenue South and Demonbreum Street, across from the Nashville Arena.
Opened on Music Row in 1967, the Hall of Fame is a non-profit cultural arts institution that is the leading resource for scholars researching country music. It has served nearly 10 million visitors to its Museum and thousands of others through its publications, recordings and educational outreach programs.
Now volumes of information, photographs and multimedia clips provided by the Hall of Fame are available to the widest possible global audience thanks to its partnership with country.com, the Internet’s most comprehensive country music and lifestyle website.
The Country Music Hall of Fame website — easily accessible from country.com’s home page — furnishes up-to-the-minute information about the museum’s exhibits, special events, archive holdings and two historic sites, legendary RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print.
Highlights of the content showcased on the site include biographies and photos of all 69 Hall of Fame members, articles from the in-depth Journal of Country Music and multimedia archives featuring vintage audio and video clips, as well as oral history interviews. The website features a country music history overview, including a user-friendly timeline and dozens of essays. An online store allowing visitors to purchase records, books and other Hall of Fame merchandise is also part of the site.
Content for the site will continue to grow and be regularly updated.
Together, the Country Music Hall of Fame and country.com will work hard to give fans access to country music’s intellectual and historical foundation while bringing visitors face to face with the excitement of country music, past and present.