As part of a summer series, T+L is highlighting amazing lesser-known attractions found in the United States. Next up: a Nashville spot all about country music's Man in Black.
In a city brimming with fascinating venues and exhibits celebrating the lives of icons, the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville stands out for its depth. Visitors can not only see stage costumes and awards, but also set pieces from his music videos, his own hand-written letters and lyrics, his instruments, and even his Bible.
Bill Miller, a longtime friend of Cash, founded the museum in April 2013, when he put his own extensive collection on display to teach people about the Cash's life. The museum quickly outgrew its footprint, and underwent a renovation and expansion, which was just completed in February 2016.
The museum now boasts a few interactive exhibits, including a studio where visitors can mix Cash’s music and a display that encourages folks to scroll through a menu of artists and choose to listen to covers of Johnny Cash songs by one of dozens of artists. Another cool exhibit allows visitors to hear the evolution of Cash’s sound throughout his music career.
It’s worth noting that Cash’s death goes conspicuously unmentioned; this was intentional. When Miller planned the final exhibit, which appropriately features Cash’s final music video for his song “Hurt,” he knew that the purpose of the finale of the tour would be to allow visitors to take a look at Cash’s life and to let Cash’s legacy live on.
Before you head out, be sure to get a picture. Visitors can pose in front of a green screen with Cash and get prints to take home.
Bonus tip: If you're hungry, stop by the Bongo Java Café and pick up some chili—it's Cash’s own recipe.
Not convinced yet? Click here to check out more information on the museum, as well as rates and hours.