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Nashville: The Wellspring

When Bob Dylan arrived in Nashville in 1966, the city seemed an unlikely place for a music icon to record an album. At that time, Nashville had a reputation as an unexciting town far removed from the world of popular music.

However, after Dylan spread the news of his enthusiasm for the town, he helped usher in a new era for the city as a music-recording hub. Today, groups can not only learn about Dylan’s influence in a new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame, but they can also discover for themselves how Nashville continues to reign as the Music City.

With three new music-related museums built in the past three years, the town continues to cement its connection to the art of creating music. Visiting groups can learn about music giants such as George Jones and Johnny Cash, as well as discover the behind-the-scenes magic poured into each hit song on the radio at the Musicians Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Keep your group’s next trip to Nashville full of foot-tapping songs at these new music-themed attractions.

George Jones Museum

The image of George Jones riding eight miles to the liquor store on a lawn mower stands out among his antics, which became just as famous as his award-winning music. One of Jones’ lawn mowers is on display to recall this well-known incident in Nashville’s newest museum: the George Jones Museum.

“It was developed by George’s wife, Nancy,” said Laurel Bennett, director of tourism sales for the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation. “So it’s a very personal walk through George’s life. It’s a never-before-seen look into his life and career.”

Opened in April, the museum reveals Jones’ ups and downs, from his boozy binges and reputation for skipping concerts to his rows of awards and platinum albums. Groups can browse the plentiful memorabilia, such as the mink coat he promised his mother once he got rich and his collection of cowboy boots in every color.

Fans and those who’ve never heard Jones’ music can sing along with the artist in an interactive booth playing songs from his six-decades-long country music career. Video and audio clips also depict Jones in his musical prime.

The third floor of the museum features an event space and a rooftop bar that serves barbecue, beer and oysters.

Johnny Cash Museum

Since its opening three years ago, the Johnny Cash Museum has expanded each year. The most recent addition included a new cafe and exhibit space showcasing memorabilia from the film “Walk the Line.”

Now, fans of the Man in Black and the Academy Award-winning film can immerse themselves in the life of this complicated and extremely talented man.

“Johnny Cash was an activist and a poet,” said Bennett. “He was also a very spiritual man. The museum really reveals the life of Johnny Cash from all these different angles.”

The comprehensive collection features artifacts, interactive exhibits and a 250-seat auditorium. Cash’s performance outfits, records, guitars and pictures reveal various aspects of his personal life.

The founders of the museum conceived the idea to open the attraction after the Cash family home burned in 2007, leaving fans without a destination to visit. Today, the museum houses 18,000 square feet of the most extensive collection of Cash memorabilia in the world.