Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum
In February 2002, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum threw a gala to induct the 12 members of its first Hall of Fame Class. In addition to Loretta Lynn and Tom T. Hall (pictured), the inductees were Rosemary Clooney, the Everly Brothers, Red Foley, Grandpa Jones, Bradley Kincaid, John Lair, Bill Monroe, the Osborne Brothers, Jean Ritchie, and Merle Travis.
At the time of the ceremony, the museum itself was still under construction at Renfro Valley. The following description of the museum’s aims was taken from press material distributed at the induction gala:
The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum, a state-of-the-art interactive museum and hall of honor, will highlight Kentucky’s music heritage; honor the contributions of Kentucky artists to American music; and educate and entertain our youth, scholars, and music fans of the world.
Music is as much a part of Kentucky as horse farms and highlands. And as varied as Kentucky’s scenic landscapes are the genres of song—folk, gospel, bluegrass, blues, jazz, and country. While the various branches of country music will certainly take center stage at the museum, all forms of Kentucky music will be honored, from the unadorned and untrained mountain music performed on front porches to the refined and ever-expanding boundaries of today’s sounds.
The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum will do more than simply tell this story; this museum will involve visitors in the engrossing epic by bringing to life the core components of Kentucky’s music—the song, the singer, the stage, and the scene. An instrument room, where visitors see, touch, hear and perform; a functioning sound booth, where visitors sing and record; and a blue-screen studio, where guests actually perform with a favorite music star, are all envisioned for this hands-on, state-of-the-art museum.
In this unique opportunity to relive Kentucky music heritage, guests will find themselves inspired by masterful artists and foot-tapping sounds, by a respected past and a shining future, and, most certainly, by authentic Kentucky charm.