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“Night Train to Nashville” demonstrates that even during a time of segregation black and white artists managed to make hit records together in Nashville’s studios. The exhibit explores three major themes: Radio, Records and TV: Nashville’s Innovative R&B Institutions examines the roles of Nashville-based independent record labels, radio stations and television productions in furthering the careers of African-American entertainers; Changing the Music City: Urban Renewal, Civil Rights and the Transformation of a Southern City which looks at changes in Nashville’s physical, social, and political cityscape from the 1940’s to the present, and the effects of those changes on the city’s music makers and patrons; and finally Beyond Genre: The Country/R&B Connection evaluates the links between country music and rhythm and blues, including songwriting, performance and session musicianship, producers and other executives who easily crossed the “color barrier” between the two genres.

The exhibit features rare photographs and remarkable video of celebrated artists. There are also panel discussions, oral histories, lectures, and interactive performances during the exhibit. Here’s your chance to rediscover a lost chapter in music history!

Upcoming Events

April 24-11 a.m. Guided Exhibit Tour Curators and museum guides will take visitors on tours of the Night Train exhibit.

April 24- 1 p.m. Panel Discussion -“The Making of a Great Song: ‘Everlasting Love’ and ‘You Can Make it if You Try’” . Among the major R&B hits to come out of Nashville are Robert Knight’s “Everlasting Love” and Gene Allison’s “You Can Make it if You Try.” This panel will feature Robert Knight, Buzz Cason, Mac Gayden and Ted Jarrett.

April 24- 4 p.m. Jimmy Church Band- Live Performance Local Nashville favorite and R&B veteran will lead the Jimmy Church Band through a set of legendary R&B material. Robert Knight will sit with the band.

May 22- 2 p.m. Night Train and The !!!!BEAT – Film Screening and Panel Discussion. These two important syndicated R&B TV shows predated “Soul Train” and originated from Music City in the mid-1960’s. Museum visitors will get an extended look at these shows, which feature Nashville’s finest singers, stars such as Otis Redding and Percy Sledge, and even a young Jimi Hendrix. A panel discussion with Frank Howard, Johnny Jones, Billy Lockridge and others about the making of these shows and their impact will follow.

July 241 p.m. “Marbles and his Magic Guitar: Jimi Hendrix in Nashville” Panel Discussion. Hendrix moved to Music City in 1962 and played here after completing military service at nearby Fort Campbell, Kentucky. This panel will discuss Hendrix and his participation in the Nashville R&B scene. Panelists include Teddy Acklen Jr., Billy Cox, Marion James and Johnny Jones.

These events are included with museum admission or museum membership. Seating is limited. Reservations are suggested.

Check out for other upcoming scheduled events, or call 615-416-2001. / Issue 38 - September 2018
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