The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum (MHOF) honors all musicians regardless of genre or instrument. The displays and exhibits within Nashville’s unique facility honor many African American musicians and deserve a visit during African American Music Heritage Month, also known as Black Music Month.
The MHOF timeline starts with the beginning of recorded music and Hall inductees are nominated by current members of the American Federation of Musicians and by other music industry professionals. Inductees into the Musicians Hall of Fame include The Funk Brothers, Booker T and the MGs, The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section & Friends, Billy Cox, and the studio musicians from Sigma Sound Studio in Philadelphia, among others.
The MHOF is a premier Nashville attraction and the only museum in the world that honors the talented musicians who actually played on the greatest recordings of all time. Some like Jimi Hendrix are well known, while others are not as well known to the public, but have played on many hit records. Located in the Historic Nashville Municipal Auditorium, the MHOF has among its exhibits the very instruments that these musicians used to record many of these classic hits.
The Museum has sections that highlight cities that have a history of recorded music, like Detroit, Nashville, Muscle Shoals, L.A., Memphis, and N.Y. Each had musicians there as the recording industry was evolving and played whatever was needed regardless of style. Some of these studio bands became hit bands themselves, such as Booker T. and The M.G’s. During the late 50′s through the mid 80′s, these groups of studio musicians played on 80 – 90 percent of the records recorded in these music centers. The Motown Exhibit has instruments used to record The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, etc., and the Stax Recording Studio Exhibit includes instruments used to record Sam and Dave, Otis Redding, Booker T. And The M.G’s, Eddie Floyd, etc., along with photos of the musicians.
An exhibit honoring the Fisk University Jubilee Singers describes how they went on the world’s first international musical tour to raise funds for their school. Hearing them, Queen Victoria was so overcome with emotion she exclaimed, “Oh, you must be from a music city!” giving Nashville the nickname Music City, USA.
The GRAMMY Museum Gallery at Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum is an interactive facility for MHOF visitors and features countless Black performers and recording artists. Explore the history of the GRAMMY Awards®, and be onstage and interact with every aspect of the recording process. You can take to the mike on the Ray Charles Stage, enter a booth to rap with Nelly or sing with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. There are many other cool things to do in the Grammy Gallery.
Coming soon to MHOF is a new area, From Nashville to Woodstock, dedicated to the one and only Jimi Hendrix, the world’s greatest guitarist whose flame burned brightly in the 1960’s. It will feature newly acquired clothing, instruments, artifacts and other memorabilia celebrating Jimi’s iconic life and career, from his beginnings in Nashville following his days at Ft. Campbell as part of the 101st Airborne to his legendary performance at Woodstock. It has the actual stage, back wall, restroom doors and ceiling rafters from Nashville’s The Jolly Roger nightclub where Jimi performed with the King Kasuals in Printers Alley.
While there at MHOF, take in the traveling Rolling Stones Exhibit that tells the story of the most influential rock ‘n’ roll band in history, and experience first – hand their incredible journey. This once-in-a-lifetime highly immersive and interactive exhibition explores their extraordinary career with over 500 rare and original artifacts and memorabilia spanning their 54-year career and continued influence on fashion, film, and art. Take a few hours to fully experience the videos and read the handwritten texts of songs, walk past reproductions of rooms the band lived and recorded in, along with the actual costumes they wore, instruments they played, and so much more. There is an extensive catalog that is a must-have for true Stones fans, only $45 in paperback with hardback and leather-clad editions available.