The museum started out in 1967 appropriately enough on Music Row but moved to splashier digs in 2001. Its unique architecture makes the $37 million building look like a curving piano keyboard standing on its side.
Although most of the interactive exhibits here trace the history of country music and focus on its classic stars, you’ll also find some exhibits on newer talent, including Taylor Swift. Probably the most famous pieces of memorabilia here are Elvis’ gold piano and his ’61 gold Cadillac (complete with phone!). The stars’ costumes are quite a sight, as are several unusual instruments (like a four-neck guitar played by Barbara Mandrell as a child). You can hear vintage recordings and even see old video clips, as well — not to mention the original cornfield set from the old comedy and variety television show “Hee Haw.” The wall of gold records is humbling, as is the Hall of Fame rotunda.
Every Saturday at 11:30 a.m., songwriters perform their hits and new tunes alike, while every Sunday at 1 p.m., musicians play various instruments. Both events encourage questions from the audience.