Country.com cares about country music. All of it, from the oldest fiddle tunes to what’s currently happening on Nashville’s famed Music Row. Now, Country.com, the Internet’s most comprehensive country lifestyle website, will be passing on its passion and knowledge of country music with expertise from the Country Music Hall of Fame, the largest research center in the world dedicated to a single form of American music.
The new exclusive partnership announced today between Country.com and the Country Music Hall of Fame will enhance the music content on our website and provide the Hall of Fame with its first online presence.
“We are very honored that the Country Music Hall of Fame is entering into this natural partnership with us,” said Martin Clayton, Vice President/General Manager, Interactive Media, CBS Cable. “Access to the Hall of Fame’s vast historical resources will assure that country.com is the definitive destination on the web for all country music fans.”
Opened on Music Row in 1967, the Country Music Hall of Fame is a non-profit cultural arts institution that is the leading resource for scholars doing research on country music. The Country Music Hall of Fame offers journalists and researchers a massive library of recordings and printed material covering the full history of country music. The heart of the library’s holdings is a collection of 200,000 country recordings and 60,000 historical photographs. Thousands of films, videotapes, books, song books, posters, periodicals and microfilms round out the collection. The Hall of Fame has a full-time staff of 25, divided among museum, library, education, research, marketing, special projects and administrative services. Called a “Mecca with a mission” by the Wall Street Journal, the Country Music Hall of Fame also operates two historic sites, the legendary RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print.
Its extensive resources will provide the content for country.com’s history section, which is to be branded by the Country Music Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame section of Country.com, which is expected to be online in early 1999, will also provide information about the museum’s special events and merchandise. There will be a Hall of Fame button to gain easy access to the section from country.com’s front page. The Hall of Fame site will also be accessible through halloffame.org.
“Over the last 30 years, the Hall of Fame has served more than 10 million visitors to the Museum and thousands and thousands of others through our publications, recordings and educational outreach programs,” said Hall of Fame Acting Director Kyle Young. “This partnership with country music’s premier website will now expand our reach to the widest possible global audience. From anywhere, and at any time, if you have access to the Internet, you can connect with the great stories and legendary figures that comprise the history of country music, and also get up-to-the-minute information about Hall of Fame activities.”
The Hall of Fame section of Country.com will also provide news and information about the Country Music Hall of Fame’s new $37 million home. The 130,000 square-foot building is scheduled to open in the year 2000 at Fifth Avenue South and Demonbreum Street, across from the new Nashville Arena and near the historic Ryman Auditorium. The Country Music Hall of Fame recently embarked on a $15 million capital campaign, headed by 1998 Hall of Fame inductee E.W. “Bud” Wendell, to partially finance the new facility. Renowned author/radio host Garrison Keillor is the honorary national chairman for the “Bringing America’s Music Home” initiative, which is well on its way to meeting its goal, with $9.5 million already committed.
Together, Country.com and the Country Music Hall of Fame 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.