Nashville's New Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Sets Opening Ceremonies for Thursday, May 17, 2001

This appeared on - May 11, 2001

The day has come. Following a morning of red carpet arrivals and tributes, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the new Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will open its doors on Thursday, May 17. The multi-media public ceremony, staged outdoors in front of the museum, will begin at 9:00 a.m. with musical salutes to Hall of Fame Members presented by the Grand Ole Opry Band; and a ceremonial procession, monitored live on a jumbotron, that will begin with the 9:00 a.m. departure of a motorcade from the Grand Ole Opry house. Members of the Grand Ole Opry inducted post-1974 will travel to the Ryman Auditorium to meet the remaining cast.

Carrying one of the last significant artifacts to go in the new museum, a vintage 650 WSM table microphone from the personal collection of Hall of Famer Roy Acuff, the Opry stars will travel south on Fifth Avenue. As they proceed down the red carpet, they will be heralded by Grand Ole Opry announcers Keith Bilbrey, Hairl Hensley, Kyle Cantrell and Eddie Stubbs. They will then join other stars alongside the red carpet to await the arrival of the members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Led by Otha Turner's Fife and Drum Band, the limousine procession of the Hall of Fame members will originate at the old Music Row location and travel down Demonbreun to the site. The Hall of Fame members will carry the last artifact to go in the museum, Mother Maybelle Carter's Gibson L-5 guitar.

Country Music Hall of Famers confirmed include Jimmy Dickens, George Jones, Earl Scruggs, Roy Horton, E. W. "Bud" Wendell, Kitty Wells, Charley Pride, Brenda Lee and Jo Walker-Meador.

Grand Ole Opry stars confirmed for the ceremony include Joe Diffie, Steve Gatlin, Vince Gill, Hal Ketchum, Martha McBride, Mel McDaniel, Brad Paisley, Riders in the Sky, Ricky Skaggs, Ralph Stanley, Marty Stuart, Trisha Yearwood, Bill Anderson, Hank Locklin, Charlie Louvin, Jimmy C. Newman, Stu Phillips, Del Reeves, Porter Wagoner, Billy Walker, Charlie Walker and the Melvin Sloan Dancers.

The 45-minute formal ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. Participants include:

  • Country Music Hall of Famer George Jones and Queen of Gospel Music Vestal Goodman;
  • Vice Admiral William P. Lawrence, U.S. Navy (Retired), Naval Leadership Department Chair;
  • Gospel/R&B vocalist Scat Springs;
  • Bill Ivey, Chairman, NEA;
  • Country Music Hall of Famer Earl Scruggs;
  • Bruce Hinton, Chairman, Board of Officers and Trustees, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum;
  • Grand Ole Opry star Marty Stuart, President, Board of Officers and Trustees, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum;
  • Country Music Hall of Famer E. W. "Bud" Wendell, Chairman, Bringing America's Music Home Capital
  • Metro Nashville/Davidson County Mayor Bill Purcell;
  • Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist; and
  • Country Music Hall of Famers Charley Pride and Kitty Wells.

Beginning at 11:30 a.m., Thursday's museum admission will be free and open to the public.

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