Country Music Hall of Fame Update
The Memphis- Nashville Connection
Nashville - The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee is the largest research center in the world dedicated to a single form of American music. Operating currently on Nashville's Music Row, the Hall of Fame also operates two historic sites, Hatch Show Print and Studio B.
The Hall of Fame has a staff of 25 involved in the museum, library, education, research, marketing, special projects and administrative services and assists hundreds of journalists, educators, music industry professionals and researchers by providing access to its extensive library and archival holdings.
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The pronounced root tie between country and rockabilly is establishment reflected in Elvis' inclusion in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Hank Williams Sr.'s presence in Cleveland's Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.
In Nashville Elvis recorded portions of his RCA work in Studio B, still maintained by the Country Music Hall of Fame. Chet Atkins and several Nashville musicians also worked a series of rockabilly sessions from '56 through '59 as record companies sought but did not find through Nashville artists that reached the rockabilly success of the Memphis based acts.
Some of those Nashville sessions are highlighted in a Country Music Foundation CD "Get Hot Or Go Home: Vintage RCA Rockabilly '56-'59." This CD includes Nashville sessions from March 29, 1957 and July 15, 1957 where Ric Cartey recorded Joe Souter's (later to be known as Joe South) "Let Me Tell You About Love," Don Johnson's "Born To Love One Woman," and Willie Dixon's "Mellow Down Easy" and "My Babe." Produced by Chet Atkins, these RCA rockabilly sessions on Ric Cartey included Nashville musician notables Jerry Reed, Floyd "Lightnin'" Chance, Jack Eubanks, Bob Moore, Ray Ragsdale (Ray Stevens) and Jeff Richards.
The legendary Pee Wee King (co-writer Tennessee Waltz) attempted a rockabilly sound with Dick Glasser and Nick Boldi's "Catty Town." This Nashville session May 30, 1956, produced by RCA's Steve Sholes (RCA's Elvis man, included musicians Floyd Cramer, Farris Coursey, Charles Wiggins, Neal Borris, Charles Adams, Charles Tichy, Walter Hayes and Fred Herron. (Rockabilly violins? Hey, it was '56 and everyone was attempting to cash in on that Memphis thing.)
Another preserved Nashville rockabilly session was the
April 15, 1957 Chet Atkins produced work of Tommy Blake & The Rhythm Rebels. This
session of Eddie Hall and Carl Adams' "Honky Tonk Mind (Woman I Need)" and
"All Night Long," included musicians Floyd Cramer, Buddy Killen, Carl Adams,
Farris Coursey and Eddie Hall. Tommy Blake & The Rhythm Rebels was a hot name, but RCA
did not release the recordings.
Get Hot or Go Home - Vintage RCA Rockabilly '56 - '59 Recorded in Nashville
Other Nashville rockabilly work included in the CD: Janis Martin's live performance June 29, 1957 at the Prince Albert Grand Old Opry Show of Melvin Endsley's "Love Me To Pieces" and Hugh Ashley's "Two Long Years"; Dave Rich's August 8, 1957 recording "Chicken House"; The Sprouts Nashville session October 17, 1957 of Waco Austin and Brien Fisher's "Teen Billy Baby"; Milton Allen's Chet Akins produced session from October 28, 1957 of Leon Luallen and Johnny Bragg's "Don't Bug Me Baby"; Morgan Twins' May 21, 1958 version of Melvin Endsley "Let's Get Goin'," produced by Chet Atkins; Gordon Terry's November 7, 1958 Chet Akins session of Buddy Killen's "It Ain't Right", with the Jordonaires doing background vocals; a Roy Orbison Chet Akins' produced Nashville session of December 18, 1958 of the Orbison penned "Almost Eighteen"; and Hoyt Johnson's "Little Boy Blue" recorded, with Chet Atkins producing, July 9, 1959.
Today's country exposes more than ever that the boys in Memphis ultimately won.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has already broken ground on a new facility that will move more of Nashville away from its Music Row. During the holiday's the Hall of feature a 25-foot Tree of The Stars, with unique tree ornaments crafted over the past two decades by country stars from John Anderson to Hank Williams, Jr. (Conway Twitty, Tony Joe White included.)
Through the holiday season (November 26 through December 24) the museum's daily schedule will include a caroling program with area choral groups and personal appearances and/or autograph sessions with Hall of Fame members and some of country's famous stars and promising newcomers. The Hall of Fame and Museum is open 9 a.m. through 5 p.m daily (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day). For information call 615-256-1639 or 1-800-852-6437 or visit www.halloffame.org
The official Country Music: The Official 2000 Calendar of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is available and can be order with credit cards through the above numbers.
Visit Nashville soon! It's an exciting progressive city, but moving everyday from what has been its music root.
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