History Lessons in Music City


When I first learned that the National Museum of African American Music was planned to be built in Nashville, TN I giggled.  I thought, “Isn’t a whole museum devoted to Darius Rucker a waste of money?”

Then, I did my research.

Contrary to what I’ve always assumed, country music didn’t stem from white men in cowboy hats that had a knack for shootin’ stuff  [insert appropriate drawl here].  Country music descended from the genre “old time music,” which I understand is similar to folk music and was made up of several musical traditions and ethnic backgrounds.  A folk music staple was the banjo, which was a instrument created by African Americans.  Country music was originally played in the south by blacks and whites in rural communities where they worked and played together.

But that little snippet of information certainly doesn’t do African American’s influence on country justice, considering this museum plans to have 25 galleries with information from 5 centuries.  It’s easy to forget that Nashville doesn’t only spit out country artists, it is “Music City,” after all.

Music row is the starting point for so many artists and genres throughout history and should showcase the greats in one structure.  The museum is scheduled to be completed by 2013.


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