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The Station Inn: Bluegrass Beacon

In The Station Inn: Bluegrass Beacon, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum chronicles the history and legacy of revered Nashville music club The Station Inn, home to a thriving local bluegrass scene and a destination for bluegrass fans from across the nation.

Members get in free! Adult $25.95 | Youth (6-12) $15.95

Open January 15, 2021 - January 2, 2022

More than simply a venue where musicians and fans gather to play and hear music, Nashville’s The Station Inn has built and nurtured a community. The exhibition The Station Inn: Bluegrass Beacon tells the story of this musical sanctuary and haven.

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About ‘The Station Inn: Bluegrass Beacon’

Nashville club The Station Inn was founded in 1974 by a group of bluegrass musicians and singers—Bob and Ingrid Fowler, Marty and Charmaine Lanham, Jim Bornstein, and Red and Bird Lee Smith—who wanted to provide their fellow musicians and fans with a venue where they could play and hear bluegrass music. The owners served as the house band, providing entertainment, with other pickers popping in for regular jam sessions.

The Station Inn moved from its original location near Nashville’s Centennial Park to its current home at 402 12th Ave. S. in 1978. Three years later, future Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame member JT Gray purchased The Station Inn. Gray’s vision was to make the club a venue that would draw national recording acts and inspire local artistry.

National Acts and Local Artistry

Over the past forty years, Country Music Hall of Fame members Vince Gill, Bill Monroe, Ricky Skaggs and Mac Wiseman, as well as Richard Bailey, Dierks Bentley, Mike Bub, the Fairfield Four, Alison Krauss, the McCrary Sisters, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, Molly Tuttle, and many others have taken the stage at The Station Inn.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum exhibition The Station Inn: Bluegrass Beacon examines the emergence of the venerated venue and the community that grew up around it, through instruments, photographs, posters, and other unique items from The Station Inn’s rich history.

The Station Inn: Bluegrass Beacon Exhibition Highlights

  • Seats from a tour bus used by Flatt & Scruggs—now serving as seating in the venue
  • A wooden box used for many years to collect admission fees at the club entrance
  • A fiddle played extensively by Tammy Rogers with the SteelDrivers
  • The 1927 Gibson A-Jr. model mandolin used by Nashville Bluegrass Band member Mike Compton in performance and to create his Grammy-winning contribution to the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?
  • Mike Bub’s Kay M-1 double bass, played with many groups at The Station Inn, including Weary Hearts, the Del McCoury Band, and the Sidemen
  • A poster covered with the autographs of musicians who played the club and well-known patrons
  • A sound-mixing console described by owner JT Gray as “the first piece of modern sound equipment we ever bought”

The exhibition The Station Inn: Bluegrass Beacon runs January 15, 2021 through January 2, 2022, at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville. Purchase tickets to see this exhibition and others using the button below.

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