Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Sees 15,000 Visitors On First Day As Nashville’s Music City Center Opens Its Doors to the Public
It was an emotional and momentous grand opening day on May 19th for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gallery as an estimated 15,000 people visited the newly opened Music City Center
Monday, May 20, 2013 | Staff
It was an emotional and momentous grand opening day on May 19th for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gallery as an estimated 15,000 people visited the newly opened Music City Center, now home to the exhibit that celebrates Nashville songwriters. Forty years after a small group of songwriters conceived of having a space where people could actually see a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame exhibit is now a reality.
“It’s a big day for the Nashville songwriting community,” said Pat Alger, Hall of Fame member and chair of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation. “It took a lot of devoted volunteers a long time to get this done, but after seeing the Hall of Fame Gallery with people standing around it, appreciating the work and using the touch screen displays to learn about the writers behind the songs, I’d say it was well worth it.”
During the May 19th grand opening event, several Hall of Fame members, including Alger ("Small Town Saturday Night" & “Unanswered Prayers"), were on hand to talk with the visitors, as well as perform a few of their biggest song hits. The Hall of Famers participating were Bill Anderson ("The Tips Of My Fingers & "Whiskey Lullaby"), Rory Bourke ("I Know A Heartache When I See One" & "Shadows In The Moonlight"), Bobby Braddock ("He Stopped Loving Her Today" & "I Want To Talk About Me"), Sonny Curtis ("I'm No Stranger To The Rain" & "I Fought The Law (And The Law Won)"), Larry Henley (“Wind Beneath My Wings” & ‘Til I Get It Right”), Don Schlitz ("The Gambler" & "Forever And Ever Amen") and Thom Schuyler ("16th Avenue" & "Love Will Turn You Around").
The Hall of Fame Gallery is located in the Music City Center lobby adjacent to Sixth Avenue and facing Demonbreun Street. It features songwriting artifacts as well as three 55” touch screens that will allow visitors to access sound, video and other digital information about the history of Nashville-associated songwriting and the 188 current members of the Hall of Fame. The names of Hall of Fame members, who come from every genre of music, are engraved in a special outdoor Songwriters Square at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Demonbreun, and on the stone steps leading from Fifth Avenue up to the interior display.
The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation is a non-profit organization that celebrates and archives the contributions made by its members, as well as educates the public about those contributions. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation has a long-term agreement with the Convention Center Authority of Nashville and Davidson County to manage and maintain the Hall of Fame Gallery and Songwriters Square.
About the Music City Center
The Music City Center, Nashville’s new convention center, will feature 1.2 million square feet total, a 350,000 square foot exhibit hall, a 57,000 square foot ballroom and parking for 1,800 cars, while achieving LEED Silver certification. It is designed to be a gathering spot for residents and the hundreds of thousands of visitors seeing Nashville for the first time, just steps from the Ryman Auditorium and the Broadway honky tonks, the musical venues that have launched thousands of careers and help generate the city’s nickname. The Music City Center sits on a 19-acre site in downtown Nashville.
About the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame
To the world, Nashville is synonymous with music and songwriting. Songwriters in particular have found a nurturing home in this culturally rich, diverse and growing city. To acknowledge and celebrate those who create the songs, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame was established in 1970, and currently boasts 188 members. Each year, four additional writers are inducted into the elite Hall of Fame, which claims members from all genres of music, underscoring Nashville's musical diversity in the songwriting world. For most of its 42 years, the Hall of Fame has been a virtual one. Now with the opening of the new, state of the art Music City Center, The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame finally becomes a physical reality. The Hall of Fame is funded and managed by the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation, dedicated to the mission of educating, archiving and celebrating the songwriting community that is uniquely associated with Nashville.
The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame includes such songwriting luminaries as Bobby Braddock, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Rodney Crowell, Hal David, Don & Phil Everly, Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, Vince Gill, Harlan Howard, Alan Jackson, Bob McDill, Roger Miller, Bill Monroe, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, Carl Perkins, Dottie Rambo, Jimmie Rodgers, Don Schlitz, Cindy Walker, Jimmy Webb, Hank Williams, Sr. and Hank Williams, Jr. More information is available at: http://www.nashvillesongwritersfoundation.com/.
Photo CaptionSeveral members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame were on hand for the grand opening of the gallery. Pictured (l-r) are: Mark D. Sanders, Gary Burr, Pat Alger, Kenny O'Dell, Sonny Curtis, Rory Bourke and Larry Henley.
PHOTO CREDIT: Bev Moser