Interviews with Legends

The Country Music Hall of Fame®  and Museum has scheduled its 2020 Poets and Prophets and Nashville Cats programs, which honor noteworthy contributors to country music with multimedia presentations that include in-depth, one-on-one interviews.

The long-running interview series Poets and Prophets spotlights the artistry and achievements of important songwriters who have made significant contributions to American music. Nashville Cats showcases musicians and session singers who have played important roles in support of hit artists in either the recording studio or on concert tours. Each interview is supplemented with recordings, photos and film clips from the museum’s Frist Library and Archive.

This year’s schedule is as follows:


Poets and Prophets: Salute to Legendary Songwriter Jackie DeShannon

California-based singer-songwriter Jackie DeShannon—“Put a Little Love in Your Heart,” “Bette Davis Eyes”—makes a rare Nashville appearance on March 21, as part of the Museum's songwriter-focused Poets & Prophets series. DeShannon will perform and discuss her songwriting career and her country music roots, and perform a few of her classics.



Nashville Cats: Fiddler and Guitarist Kenny Lovelace

For more than fifty years, Kenny Lovelace has served as guitarist, fiddler, bandleader, and right-hand man for Jerry Lee Lewis. He’s also performed with Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, the Rolling Stones, and other legends. Lovelace visits the Museum on April 11, as part of the Nashville Cats series.


Friday, May 8 |  7:00– 8:30 p.m.

Poets and Prophets: Salute to Songwriter Rodney Crowell

As a recording artist, Rodney Crowell hit his stride with the 1988 album Diamonds and Dirt, which yielded five No. 1 country singles, including the Grammy-winning “After All This Time.” As a songwriter, he's delivered hits for a wide range of fellow performers, including “’Til I Gain Control Again” (Emmylou Harris, Crystal Gayle), “I Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This” (Waylon Jennings), “Making Memories of Us” (Keith Urban), and many others. On Friday, May 8, he'll share songs and stories, along with photos, videos, and recordings that illustrate his career.

Rodney Crowell 2019-Sam Esty Rayner-min

Saturday, June 20 |  2:00– 3:30 p.m.

Nashville Cats: Drummer and Percussionist Kenny Malone

Percussionist Kenny Malone visits the Museum June 20 for an interview and performance, as part of the Nashville Cats series. After moving to Nashville in 1970, Malone began working with producer and future Country Music Hall of Fame member Cowboy Jack Clement, and soon became an in-demand session musician, due to his innovative style. He can be heard on recordings by Hall of Fame members including Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Dottie West, and Don Williams.


Sunday, July 12 |  2:00– 3:30 p.m.

Nashville Cats: Guitarist Brent Mason

One of the most recorded guitarists in history, Grammy winner Brent Mason has created distinctive riffs on more than a thousand Top Ten hits—from Alan Jackson and George Jones to Luke Combs and Carrie Underwood. He has been CMA Musician of the Year twice, and ACM Guitarist of the Year a record eleven times. Mason visits the Museum on July 12 for an interview and performance, as part of the Nashville Cats series.


Saturday, September 26 |  2:00– 3:30 p.m.

Poets and Prophets: Salute to Songwriter Hillary Lindsey

Grammy-winning songwriter Hillary Lindsey—who penned Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” Martina McBride’s “Blessed,” and many other hits—visits the Museum on September 26 for an in-depth interview, as part of the songwriting-focused Poets and Prophets series.


Saturday, November 7 |  2:00– 3:30 p.m.

Nashville Cats: Steel Guitarist Cindy Cashdollar

Dobro and lap steel guitarist Cindy Cashdollar grew up in Woodstock, New York, where she was part of the blues and folk scenes, playing with local legends including Rick Danko and Levon Helm of the Band. After moving to Texas, she joined western swing kings Asleep at the Wheel, and was part of five Grammy wins, plus collaborations with Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, and others. Cashdollar visits the Museum on November 7, 2020, to share songs and stories.


Saturday, December 5 |  2:00– 3:30 p.m.

Poets and Prophets: Salute to Songwriter Mike Stoller

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote “Hound Dog” for blues singer Big Mama Thornton, and four years later, Elvis Presley made it an enormous hit—which made Leiber and Stoller one of the hottest songwriting teams around. Leiber died in 2011, but Stoller is alive and well, and makes a rare Nashville appearance on December 5 to discuss his hit-filled career, as part of the Museum's Poets and Prophets series.


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