Hall of Fame Names Kyle Young Third Director

The Country Music Hall of Fame has appointed Kyle Young as its new director.

In his previous post as acting director, Young presided over the organization’s operations after Bill Ivey was named chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts last May. In his role as permanent director, effective immediately, Young will continue to have responsibility for day-to-day operations of the non-profit cultural arts institution and the management of a 50-person staff, museum, library, research department, publications and teaching program.

Formed in 1964 and currently open on Nashville’s Music Row, the Country Music Hall of Fame is the largest center in the world dedicated to a single form of American music.

Under the leadership of Young, the Country Music Hall of Fame will continue its drive toward a new $37 million facility which is scheduled to open in 2001 in downtown Nashville, near the historic Ryman Auditorium. Young has spearheaded the organization’s $15 million capital campaign since Ivey left.

Young is only the third director in the Hall of Fame’s long history, following Ivey and Jo Walker-Meador.

The Hall of Fame’s Board of Officers and Trustees announced the appointment on January 21, after conducting a nationwide search that involved 131 candidates.

“The Country Music Hall of Fame is extremely fortunate to have an executive of Kyle Young’s caliber at the helm of this important and envied cultural arts organization at this particular time in our history,” said Board Chairman Bruce Hinton.

“His 22 years of extremely varied experience and long list of accomplishments, coupled with ambition and extremely focused plans, make him absolutely the most qualified and best person for this important leadership role.

“We are confident that Kyle will lead us into a museum for the 21st Century and to an ever-expanding worldwide audience for the story of country music and American popular culture.”

As the Hall of Fame’s Deputy Director for Special Projects from 1983 to 1997, Young was responsible for the management, staffing, and oversight of the Hall of Fame’s records and publications departments, the merchandising program–including its retail and direct-mail operations–and Hatch Show Print. He managed and coordinated the licensing of the Hall of Fame name, merchandise, programs, products and collections and served as executive editor for The Journal of Country Music.

“As a result of the growth of divisional revenues during Kyle’s tenure as Deputy Director,” Hinton said, “the Hall of Fame has the highest percentage of earned income of any museum in the country.”

Young graduated from Kenyon College with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1975. He is a member of the Country Music Association, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Association of Independent Music and the National Association of Recording Merchandisers.