Country Music History

Museum tour pre- and post-activities, artist biographies, videos, exhibition guides and more

Coming soon video still

Artifact Bytes

Brief two-minute videos allow students to explore country music artists, like DeFord Bailey and Dolly Parton, and Museum artifacts, like the original lyrics to “Rocky Top” and Elvis Presley’s Cadillac Limousine.

Exhibit-Based Teacher Resources

Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ‘70s

Through the creativity and self-expression of artists like Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, students in grades 3-12 learn about country music’s outlaw movement during the 1970s and explore art, music, video, and nonfiction texts.

Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City

Discover how political, cultural, economic, and social events impact the way songs are written and received by listeners through American music across eras, specifically the 1960s and 1970s work of Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.

The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and California Country

Examine how the events of the Dust Bowl, Great Depression, and mass migration shaped identity and culture in California and country music.

Loretta Lynn: Blue Kentucky Girl

Meet Loretta Lynn and see how her life as an impoverished child in coal mining Kentucky and as a young mother in the gender-confined 1950s inspired her success as an artist and a songwriter.

Shania Twain: Rock this Country

Learn about how this Canada native overcame a difficult childhood and how talent, determination, and hard work led to her commercial success in the 1990s and influenced contemporary stars like Taylor Swift and Kelsea Ballerini.

Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues 1945-1970

Details the largely unknown history of Nashville’s significant role in R&B music, exploring how local radio stations, record companies, and live music clubs developed the careers of artists like Little Richard and Jimi Hendrix.

Coming soon letter board

Country Music History Breakdown Video Series

Stand-alone, standards-based videos that answer essential questions and include primary source media like video, audio, and image files from the Museum’s digital archive and the Library of Congress.

Discover More

We use cookies in the following ways: (1) for system administration, (2) to assess the performance of the website, (3) to personalize your experience, content and ads, (4) to provide social media features, and (5) to analyze our traffic. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.  Please consult instructions for your web browser to disable or block cookies, or to receive a warning before a cookie is stored on your computer or mobile device.

That's Fine