When Nashville was coined Music City in 1950, honky tonk and pop country dominated the scene. But after Bob Dylan recorded his milestone album, Blonde on Blonde, on Music Row in 1966, musicians of all genres followed suit. Over the next decade, everyone from Joan Baez to Leonard Cohen recorded there, enlisting the talents of hometown session musicians, The Nashville Cats.
A new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum opens March 27, giving fans a glimpse behind the music during this historic era. "Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City" will feature items like Lloyd Green's pedal steel guitar used on The Byrds' album Sweetheart of the Rodeo, Paul McCartney's master tapes from his 1974 recording sessions, and handwritten lyrics to "Wanted Man," a song Dylan wrote for Johnny Cash—artifacts from the days when rock stars and folk legends first mingled under the Nashville skyline (countrymusichalloffame.org; exhibit runs through 2017).