A visit to Nashville is not complete without checking out the Country Music Hall of Fame. Approaching the building, you will see that it looks like the keys on the piano. I wish we could have taken pictures inside of some of the amazing stuff we saw, but sadly the Hall of Fame does not allow photography. Walking through the exhibits we learned about the history of country music and the legendary artists. Did you know that country music shares some of it's early roots with Gospel music? We saw Elvis' blue suede shoes, Johnny Cash's guitar, and all kinds of stuff from legendary artists like Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, and even Carrie Underwood. The kids and I absolutely loved the outrageous costumes with their over the top beading detail and those famous cowboy hats and boots. I think guitars are some of the most beautiful instruments and it was such a treat to see so many that not only gorgeous in design but that had been personalized by the artists who played them. When I was a kid, my dad (who was an immigrant from Argentina) just loved watching Hee Haw-a country western variety show. I still crack up when I think of my father saying " Now Y'all come back now ya hear?" in a spanish accent. When it was on, we would all gather around the TV and watch. I remember Roy Clark, Buck Owens and Minnie Pearl (with the famous tag still hanging on her hat) and Grandpa and the gang doing their skits and preforming famous country songs. TV seemed so charming and quaint back then. Well imagine my thrill when I got to see Minnie Pearl's hat with the tag still hanging from it and Buck Owen's guitar and Roy Clark's banjo, it was surreal. I was instantly transported back to my childhood and the innocence of my youth causing and a million memories to come flooding back.
After touring all the exhibits, we headed to the gift shop. They have a wonderful collection of CDs that are available to listen to and all of us raced to put on headphones and enjoy some country music. Playing throughout the store was the most incredible bluegrass music. Believe it or not I just love bluegrass music and I secretly wish I could play the banjo. There is something about it that just speaks to my soul and whenever I listen to it, it transports me to another time and place. I love the harmonies and the sound of the fiddles and harmonicas and whatever else they're playing like a washboard or a bucket. I asked the clerk who the artist was and he told me it was Rhonda Vincent. What a great find! I bought her CD and we hummed her tunes all along on the rest of the trip. Even if country music isn't your thing, it's such an important part of American music history that it's well worth a trip to the Country Music Hall of Fame to learn about it. It's a definite DO NOT MISS.