Voices in the Hall

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Voices in the Hall presents conversations with some of country music’s most fascinating and influential figures. Museum Senior Director, Producer, and Writer Peter Cooper hosts the series and conducts the interviews, recorded in the Museum’s audio lab by Alan Stoker, curator of recorded sound. Voices in the Hall is co-produced by award-winning veteran broadcasters Ben Manilla and Jennie Cataldo of BMP Audio. The podcast’s third season features interviews with Ashley McBryde, Mark Knopfler, Aaron Watson, Steve Dorff, Delbert McClinton, The Cactus Blossoms, Duane Eddy, and Molly Tuttle.

Season 3, Episode 1: Ashley McBryde

In this season-opening episode of Voices in the Hall, award-winning singer-songwriter Ashley McBryde talks about her childhood in Arkansas, her scuffling days as a barroom troubadour, and her breakthrough as a Nashville recording artist. McBryde peppers her conversation with the wry humor and blunt honesty that listeners will recognize from her songwriting.

Season 3, Episode 2: Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler broke through in the late 1970s as the leader of rock band Dire Straits, with hits including “Sultans of Swing” and “Money for Nothing,” but his solo career has proven every bit as creatively fruitful. Heavily influenced by country music as a child in Scotland and England, Knopfler has collaborated extensively with Nashville musicians including Chet Atkins, Richard Bennett, and Emmylou Harris, and his songs are championed in Nashville by music publisher David Conrad, songwriter Paul Kennerley, and many others. Knopfler came to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s audio lair for an episode of Voices in the Hall, talking about his life in music and his country connections.

Season 3, Episode 3: Aaron Watson

Texas native Aaron Watson scored a chart-topping country album (The Underdog) and a Top Ten country airplay single (“Outta Style”)—rare for an independent recording artist. While many country musicians seek support from major music corporations, Watson determined that he would be his own boss, and work toward his own fortune. In this episode of Voices in the Hall, Watson explains his decision-making process and talks about independent-minded heroes including the late Guy Clark.

Season 3, Episode 4: Steve Dorff

Songwriters Hall of Fame member Steve Dorff has written major songs recorded by George Strait, Willie Nelson, Whitney Houston, Eddie Rabbitt, Anne Murray, Kenny Rogers, and many others, working in both Nashville and in Los Angeles (where he became involved in writing music for film and television, and served as musical director on numerous movies). For this episode of Voices in the Hall, Dorff visited the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s audio lair to talk about the many unusual turns in his life and art, and to reveal some secrets of songwriting.

Season 3, Episode 5: Delbert McClinton

Master musician Delbert McClinton first gained notice in the early 1960s, playing harmonica on Bruce Channel’s “Hey! Baby.” He’s been a force in American music since, performing with duo partner Glen Clark in the 1970s, writing a chart-topping hit for Emmylou Harris (1978’s “Two More Bottles of Wine”), and forging a solo career with major records including “Giving It Up for Your Love,” “Every Time I Roll the Dice,” and the Tanya Tucker duet “Tell Me About It.” In this episode of Voices in the Hall, McClinton looks back on more than fifty years in music, from his Texas roots to his more recent endeavors in Nashville.

Season 3, Episode 6: The Cactus Blossoms

As the Cactus Blossoms, brothers Page Burkum and Jack Torrey blend sharp songwriting and ethereal harmonies. The two visited the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to talk about their lives and musical influences for an episode of Voices in the Hall, and to play a pop-up show in front of We Could: The Songwriting Artistry of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, an exhibition devoted to the Hall of Fame songwriters who composed enduring hits for another harmony-led family duo, the Everly Brothers.

Season 3, Episode 7: Duane Eddy - Part 1

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Duane Eddy began his career in the 1950s, scoring a Top Ten hit with his rocking instrumental “Rebel ’Rouser” (1958) when he was twenty years old. In this episode of Voices in the Hall, he offers a detailed glimpse into a starkly different music world, talking about early tours with legends of rock & roll and about the development of his signature “Twangy Guitar” sound.

Season 3, Episode 8: Duane Eddy - Part 2

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Duane Eddy began his career in the 1950s, scoring a Top Ten hit with his rocking instrumental “Rebel ’Rouser” (1958) when he was twenty years old. In this episode of Voices in the Hall, he offers a detailed glimpse into a starkly different music world, talking about early tours with legends of rock & roll and about the development of his signature “Twangy Guitar” sound.

Season 3, Episode 9: Molly Tuttle

A singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Molly Tuttle won her first International Bluegrass Music Association Guitar Player of the Year Award in 2017, becoming the first woman to receive that honor. In this episode of Voices in the Hall, Tuttle talks about her early days in California, her chief flat-picking guitar influences, and living (and thriving) with alopecia, a medical condition that results in total hair loss. Tuttle also plays live in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s audio lair, recorded by Grammy-winning recording engineer Alan Stoker.


Season 2, Episode 1: Kane Brown

Kane Brown has emerged as one of contemporary country music’s biggest stars, only a few years after he was spending break time at a shipping company posting videos of himself singing covers of songs by Chris Young, Lee Brice, and Alan Jackson. A child of poverty who sometimes didn’t have a roof over his head, he had his first smash hit in 2017: “What Ifs” was a duet with Lauren Alaina, who Brown knew from school days. He tells his unprecedented story in this episode of Voices in the Hall.

Season 2, Episode 2: Buddy & Julie Miller

Buddy Miller is among the prime forces in Americana music, starring as a singer, a musician, a recording artist, and a songwriter whose compositions have been recorded by Dierks Bentley, the Dixie Chicks, Levon Helm, and Miranda Lambert. His wife and musical partner, Julie Miller, is also a gifted and often-covered songwriter (Emmylou Harris, Lee Ann Rimes, Lee Ann Womack) and together their harmonies are as riveting, inspiring, and unlikely as their personal stories. Buddy and Julie tell some of those stories, shedding light on trials, tribulations, and triumphs on this edition of Voices in the Hall.

Season 2, Episode 3: Nick Lowe

Equally gifted as a singer-songwriter, musician, and producer, Nick Lowe is the author of classic songs including “Cruel to Be Kind,” “Without Love,” and “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding).” Impacted and influenced by country music since childhood, Lowe made his way through England’s pop and rock world of the 1960s and ‘70s, and by the mid-1990s was concentrating on a quieter, deeply rooted sound, forging what amounts to a second musical career.

Season 2, Episode 4: Jimmie Allen

Delaware native Jimmie Allen visited the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to record his episode of Voices in the Hall in front of a live audience during CMA Music Festival. Allen talked about his rise from poverty and homelessness to a place as one of country music’s up-and-coming stars. His 2018 hit, “Best Shot,” topped Billboard’s U.S. Country Songs chart, making Allen the first African-American country artist to send his career debut single all the way to Number One.

Season 2, Episode 5: Sam Bush - Part 1

Sam Bush is a mandolin master whose unbridled spirit helped to create the progressive acoustic music that is often referred to as “Newgrass.” In 1971, he formed the influential band New Grass Revival, and since then he has worked with notables including Garth Brooks, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Lyle Lovett, Bill Monroe, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, and many others. Today, he leads the Sam Bush Band and records much-lauded solo albums. In this two-episode edition of Voices in the Hall, he talks about the places he’s been, the legends he’s known, and the lessons he’s learned.

Season 2, Episode 6: Sam Bush - Part 2

Mandolin master Sam Bush formed the influential band New Grass Revival in the ‘70s, and has worked with notables including Garth Brooks, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Lyle Lovett, Bill Monroe, Dolly Parton, and Taylor Swift—in addition to recording his own trailblazing albums. In this second part of a two-part conversation, Bush talks about going solo, becoming an elder statesman, and, of course, baseball.

Season 2, Episode 7: The War and Treaty

Michael and Tanya Trotter are The War and Treaty, a celebrated Americana duo that has received praise and admiration from greats including Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, and John Prine. The Trotters’ climb to notoriety was powerful and unlikely. It involved two gifted singers whose gifts were challenged by hardship and combat. They met and married, consoling and inspiring each other at every turn, with love as a given, a directive, and an imperative.

Season 2, Episode 8: Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt is one of the most versatile, successful, and influential vocalists of our time. The woman who many consider to be the top female rock ‘n’ roll vocalist of the 1970s has often sung country music and collaborated with Nashville-based singers and writers such as Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, and Paul Craft. Ronstadt has sold more than 100 million albums in her career. A Kennedy Center Honoree in 2019, she is the subject of a new documentary called Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.


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Episode Zero

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum presents Voices in the Hall, insightful conversations with compelling artists, from megawatt stars to highly influential players, who propel the story of American music forward. Host Peter Cooper is the Museum’s senior director, producer, and writer.

Season 1, Episode 1: Dierks Bentley

Singer-songwriter Dierks Bentley came to Nashville as a Vanderbilt student and soon found himself immersed in the city’s street-level music scene. Today, he plays to sold-out arena crowds, but his heart remains at the Station Inn, the funky Nashville club where he cut his teeth and learned about bluegrass music.

Season 1, Episode 2: Dave Cobb

Dave Cobb is the most respected and admired producer of country music’s 2010s, or whatever we call the second decade of the still-new century. He has produced much-beloved (and often awarded) works by Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Sturgill Simpson, Brent Cobb, and many more.

Season 1, Episode 3: Rosanne Cash

Rosanne Cash has won four Grammy awards, has scored fifteen Top 20 country hits, has written one of music’s great memoirs in Composed, and has lived an unusual and commendable life. In this episode of Voices in the Hall, she talks about her unique journey, her creative process, and her family history.

Season 1, ​Episode 4: Ricky Skaggs

As the first out of the gate in what is often called country music’s “neo-traditionalist movement” in 1981, Ricky Skaggs helped bring bluegrass and honky-tonk songs back into country’s mainstream. His instrumental virtuosity and pure, Kentucky-bred tenor vocals won the ardent approval of masters including Chet Atkins, Emmylou Harris, Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, and his greatest hero, father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe. In 2018, he joined those legends as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Season 1, Episode 5: Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mary Chapin Carpenter is a Grammy-winner, a CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, a terrific guitarist, and the writer of hundreds of songs that she crafts with eloquence and emotion and sings in a voice that is dusky and tone-true. On this episode of Voices in the Hall, she talks about her entry into country music, her days in the Washington, DC-area folk scene, and her life as a creator.

Season 1, Episode 6: Charlie Worsham

Charlie Worsham is one of the most impressive guitarists in a city that is often called “Guitar Town.” With two albums released on Warner Bros. Records, and a Top 20 hit in “Could It Be,” he is cited by Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, and others as someone who will take country music into the future while honoring its past at every turn. But the music business is not like sports, where if you are the most dominant player in basketball you get to be Michael Jordan or LeBron James and make zillions of dollars, and Charlie’s story involves struggle and heartache, pratfalls and miscues. He talks about life as a professional musician in this episode of Voices in the Hall.

Season 1,Episode 7: Jessi Colter

The most beguiling of “Outlaws,” Jessi Colter wrote and performed hit songs including “I’m Not Lisa,” and “What’s Happened to Blue Eyes.” She was a part of the multi-million-selling album Wanted! The Outlaws, which won the CMA’s album of the year award in 1976. Her partners on that album included Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser, and Colter’s husband, Country Music Hall of Fame member Waylon Jennings. Colter talks here about a remarkable life in music, and about a remarkable life with Waylon.

Season 1, ​Episode 8: Ray Stevens

Born Harold Ray Ragsdale, the Grammy-winning songwriter, producer, arranger, and performer known as Ray Stevens is regarded as one of the most talented forces in country music. Though often thought of as a funnyman who writes hilarious and topical songs, he also wrote music recorded by Brook Benton, Dierks Bentley, Sammy Davis, Jr., and many others. On Voices in the Hall, he recounts his rise from Georgia boy to international star.

Season 1, Episode 9: Sierra Hull

Sierra Hull was a child prodigy who has become a musical master as a young adult. Identified as a genius player at age 11 by Alison Krauss, Hull is the first female winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s mandolin player of the year award, and she has won that prize for the past three years. Her album Weighted Mind was nominated for a Grammy. Here, she talks about the pains and glories of growth, the necessity of commitment, and history’s inspiration.

Season 1, Episode 10: Larry Gatlin

Grammy-winning musician Larry Gatlin authored chart-topping country songs including “All the Gold in California,” and “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer to You).” He was encouraged and inspired by greats including Johnny Cash, Fred Foster, and Kris Kristofferson, and he sang in rich harmony with his brothers Rudy and Steve. On this episode of Voices in the Hall, Gatlin talks about his heady early days, his problematic relationships with fame and creativity, and his creative influences.

Season 1, Episode 11: Emmylou Harris - Part I

Emmylou Harris ranks among the most significant recording artists in the history of country and pop music. For more than 40 years, she has released music of merit and consequence. She's won 14 Grammys, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has recorded with Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Neil Young, and dozens of other culture-shakers. The first of two special episodes of Voices in the Hall, this conversation was recorded live in the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Season 1, Episode 12: Emmylou Harris - Part 2

Part 2 of our conversation with Emmylou Harris finds her reflecting on her college years as a drama student at the University of North Carolina, her winding path to Nashville, and constructing -- and maintaining -- her many incredible live bands. This special edition of Voices In The Hall was recorded live in the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in support of the exhibit Emmylou Harris: Songbird's Flight.

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