Wow, what a day! The forecast was rainy so it was a perfect day to immerse ourselves in music! Believe it or not we spent over five hours at the Hall of Fame before succumbing to museum malaise. The audio tour was amazing & gave us an organized way to view three floors.
Lots of instrument collections & history were displayed as well as the general development of music in Nashville. My favorite exhibit was the Johnny Cash/Bob Dylan exhibit, followed by Elvis & the tour of Studio B. I did not take any pictures of the Cash/Dylan area, guess I was getting tired. Who knows!
Elvis was a big fan of cars but the Gold Cadillac was his favorite. He drove it until he donated it to the museum a year before his death. Forty coats of paint made with fish scales & crushed diamonds so it would sparkle! The trim is 24 carat gold. Gracious! Apparently gold was his thing; Priscilla gave him the gold piano on their first anniversary.
The Studio B tour was fantastic. Just to be in the same rooms where all those hits were recorded with the stars we love was great! Elvis was the biggest RCA star to record there but other labels used the studio as well. The Steinway in the picture came from the original RCA studio in NY & was Elvis’ favorite piano. His approach to recording was unusual. He arrived at the studio late in the evening to play demos on an old turntable. The cabinet behind the piano held the turntable & one night Elvis could not get the stylus to work correctly. He eventually kicked the cabinet, breaking the door. RCA & Elvis both refused to fix it, so here it sits!
When he found something he liked, they went into the studio & recorded it! Many of his hits were done in one take! A testament to his talent as well as the great studio musicians who played with him. He was big on creating moods in the studio for recording. His Christmas albums were recorded in July but the studio was decked out with a huge tree, wrapped gifts & a Santa! "Are You Lonesome Tonight" was recorded in two takes in the dark. Elvis had all of the lights off in the studio & control booth! His tribute to MLK, "If I Can Dream" was such a heart wrenching event, seasoned musicians stopped playing just to listen.
Bob Dylan was the first non-country artist to record in Nashville. He was drawn by the quality of the studio musicians, known as the Nashville Cats. (Lovin’ Spoonful's song) Dylan & Cash became great friends & collaborated on a number of albums. Cash thought Dylan did more for Nashville than he was ever credited for & wanted him in the Hall of Fame. It was heartwarming to watch films of them together, obviously fond of one another. Dylan’s album, Blonde on Blonde, exposed the great musicians of Nashville to a wider audience & many other artists began recording here. The rest is history; Nashville is the place to be in the music world.
Many families were in the museum & we were struck over & over about the kids lack of knowledge about music greats. I can not imagine not knowing the music of Elvis, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash........
On a personal note, we chose a different shuttle to go downtown. The driver was nice & indicated the other guy might have a drinking problem! No surprise to us. However, shuttle #2 forgot to pick us up! In his defense, he was doing a special stop for us & another driver came on mid afternoon. A communication breakdown gave us a chance to have an afternoon cup of coffee & rest!