Home Local News Celebrate Black Music Month at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum

Celebrate Black Music Month at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum

by Cass Teague
Alice Randall (photo courtesy alicerandall.com)

Nashville is Music City, USA, due in large part to the Fisk Jubilee Singers. However, most people generally associate the name with country music. This is an interesting confluence, as the roots of country music as “the white man’s blues” speaks volumes to its African American influences. Presently, there is a surge of interest in country music by African American artists, as witnessed by the recent “Texas Hold ’Em” phenomenon by Beyonce. This month, the month of CMA Fest in Nashville and Black Music month globally, one of Nashville’s four major music museums is presenting an interesting series of programs dedicated to the Black influences on country music.

The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum presents “Conversation and Performance: Alice Randall” on Saturday, June 15, at 12 Noon CDT in the Ford Theater. The event is included with museum admission, but a program ticket is required; it is also free to museum members.

Alice Randall is a New York Times best-selling novelist, award-winning songwriter, educator and food activist. She wrote a #1 country hit in 1994, Trisha Yearwood’s “XXX’s and OOO’s,” and her country songs have also been recorded by Moe Bandy, Country Music Hall of Fame member Glen Campbell, Radney Foster, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Marie Osmond, and others. A graduate of Harvard University, Randall holds the Andrew W. Mellon Chair in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University, where she teaches the course “Black Country,” among other offerings. Published April 9, her most recent book is “My Black Country: A Journey Through Country Music’s Black Past, Present and Future,” which recounts her explorations of the Black presence in country music as a fan, songwriter, music publisher, and scholar. The museum’s Paul Kingsbury will lead the conversation with Randall, who will sign copies of “My Black Country” after the program. Saaneah Jamison and Miko Marks, two of the artists on the “My Black Country” album, will perform Randall’s songs during this program.

On Tuesday, June 18, a very special concert will be performed and recorded. “From Where I Stand: The Concert Celebration” will be presented by Amazon and Riverview Foundation at 6:30 p.m. CDT in the CMA Theater.

Coinciding with Black Music Month, the museum has organized this multi-artist concert, led by co-producers Rissi Palmer and Shannon Sanders, which will celebrate the many ways Black Americans have created, contributed to and been influenced by country music over the last century, as documented and shared through the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s multi-faceted initiative, “From Where I Stand: The Black Experience in Country Music.” The Concert Celebration will feature performances from Blanco Brown, Cowboy Troy, Tony Jackson, Hubby Jenkins, Miko Marks, Wendy Moten, Rissi Palmer, Darius Rucker, The War And Treaty and Barrence Whitfield, who are among the artists included in the “From Where I Stand: The Black Experience in Country Music” CD box set and free-to-access online experience, both available on the museum’s website now. Tickets to this free concert can be reserved on the museum’s website, based on availability. But, if you can’t get tickets, the concert will be filmed and released on the museum’s website on September 12.

Currently on view at the museum, “Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues Revisited” is a 20th anniversary edition of the museum’s award-winning original exhibit, which was featured in its galleries March 2004 through December 2005. The exhibit explores Nashville’s R&B activity in the decades following World War II, spanning 1945-1970 and include many of the same items and themes, as well as recently discovered artifacts and photographs. The exhibit, which is included with museum admission, runs through September 2025.

This summer, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is offering free admission for local youth and discounted admission for up to two accompanying adults, as well as increased daily programs for families. Providing an opportunity for locals to explore the museum and the history of country music, the free and discounted admission will apply to those living in Davidson and its bordering counties – Cheatham, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson. Tennessee children ages 18 and under from Cheatham, Davidson, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties receive free museum admission. Up to two accompanying adults receive 25% off admission. Proof of residency is required.

The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Timed tickets are available for museum entry between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., with a limited number of museum admission tickets available each day. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is located at 222 Rep. John Lewis Way South, Nashville, Tennessee 37203. More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at: www.countrymusichalloffame.org  or by calling (615) 416-2001.


 “From Where I Stand: The Black Experience in Country Music” CD set is amazing!

by Cass Teague

In 1998, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum released “From Where I Stand: The Black Experience in Country Music,” a CD box set documenting the many ways Black Americans have created, contributed to and been influenced by country music.  26 years later, “From Where I Stand” has returned as a multifaceted initiative, encompassing an expanded box set, an online experience, and an all-star concert celebration.

“From Where I Stand” spans a century of music and traces the many ways Black Americans have created, contributed to, and been influenced by country music. The collection now includes a fourth disc titled “Reclaiming the Heritage” that presents a fresh wave of Black artists in country and Americana who emerged through 2020. New essays by recording artists Rhiannon Giddens and Rissi Palmer join the original essays by distinguished music scholars and journalists.

All the music in the box set can be heard on the museum’s website via “From Where I Stand: The Online Experience.” The online experience is free to access and includes all the incisive essays, archival photographs and video, and historical track notes for each selection, as well as resources from the museum’s archive and resources for educators.

The “From Where I Stand” box set and online experience are illustrated with traditional quilt designs created years ago by the women of the Gee’s Bend community of Alabama, with type treatments by visual artist and designer David Jon Walker. Each era of music is represented with a quilt from roughly the same time period as the music. The CD box set is now available to purchase through the museum’s website or in the museum’s retail store. Proceeds from the sale of the box set will benefit the nonprofit museum’s educational programs. For more information, visit http://countrymusichalloffame.org/fwis.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment