Everyone’s first stop should be the superb Country Music Hall of Fame. A wealth of paraphernalia from countless stars, including all manner of gowns, guitars and battered leather boots, not to mention Elvis’s gold Cadillac – combine with video footage, photos and, of course, lots and lots of music, to create a hugely enjoyable account of the genre from its earliest days. Songwriters and musicians give regular live performances and masterclasses.
The Hall of Fame also offers short bus tours (daily 10.30am–2.30pm) of RCA’s legendary Studio B on Music Row. Between 1957 and 1977, forty gold records were cut here, including Dolly Parton’s Jolene, but it’s probably most famous for a thirteen-year run of Elvis hits. Restored and rewired, it’s open for business again, and is very much a hot ticket – book online to guarantee a timeslot.
In 2013, after more than a century in their original Broadway store, the music publicity wizards that make up Hatch Show Print found a new home here at the museum. Established in 1879, this atmospheric workshop prints and sells posters from the early days of country and rock’n’roll, using the original blocks, and continues to produce new work.