Stars to Shine at Hall of Fame Opening Today

This appeared in The Tennessean - May 17, 2001

Seven years after the idea was first floated, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum opens its new downtown home today, ushering in a new era of pride in the heritage of Nashville's most famous export.

Today's ceremony will be stocked with music by a star-studded cast of performers, including George Jones, Emmylou Harris and Earl Scruggs. Events begin at 9 a.m., when the Grand Ole Opry house band offers musical salutes to Hall of Fame members.

A large video screen will monitor a motorcade that will take post-1974 Opry inductees from the Opry House to Ryman Auditorium, where they will meet up with most of the pre-1974 inductees.

Opry stars set to attend include Harris, Joe Diffie, Steve Gatlin, Vince Gill, Hal Ketchum, Martina McBride, Mel McDaniel, Brad Paisley, Riders in the Sky, Ricky Skaggs, the Melvin Sloan Dancers, Ralph Stanley, Marty Stuart, Trisha Yearwood, Bill Anderson, Hank Locklin, Jimmy C. Newman, Del Reeves, Porter Wagoner and Charlie Walker.

The stars will walk from the Ryman to the Hall, at Fifth Avenue and Demonbreun Street. Then Othar ''Otha'' Turner's Fife and Drum Band will lead the way while Hall of Famers arrive from the old Hall of Fame. Among those elite: Little Jimmy Dickens, George Jones, Earl Scruggs, Kitty Wells, Charley Pride, Brenda Lee and Jo Walker-Meador.

They'll bring the last pre-opening artifact to go in the museum, Mother Maybelle Carter's Gibson L-5 guitar.

A 45-minute ceremony begins at 10 a.m., and at 11:30 a.m. the museum will open to the public, with no admission fee today only.

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