See the 11 Coolest Things in the 'Nashville Cats' Exhibit - Rolling Stone
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See the 11 Coolest Items in the ‘Nashville Cats’ Hall of Fame Exhibit

From Jonny Cash’s handwritten lyrics to Bob Dylan’s Western suit, we look at the best memorabilia in the Country Music Hall of Fame’s new exhibit.

Nashville Cats

A new Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit celebrates Dylan, Cash and Nashville's famed session musicians.

Artwork by John Langford

Muscle Shoals had the Swampers. Los Angeles had the Wrecking Crew. Detroit had the Funk Brothers. And Nashville had the Nashville Cats, a group of top-shelf session musicians whose skill and reputation helped lure artists like Bob Dylan, the Byrds, Joan Baez, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and countless others to Tennessee during the Sixties and Seventies. From Dylan's Blonde on Blonde to Young's Harvest, the Cats worked on some of the era's most groundbreaking music, building a musical bridge between the Bible Belt and the rest of the country during one of America's most politically charged periods. Hometown hero Johnny Cash helped strengthen that bridge, thanks to a close friendship with Dylan and a short-lived yet influential TV program, The Johnny Cash Show, whose roster of guest performers included everyone from Derek & the Dominos to Linda Ronstadt. 

Opening today and running until New Years Eve 2016, the Country Music Hall of Fame's newest exhibit — Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City — will shine a light on those influential years, focusing not only on the stars who recorded their landmark albums in Nashville, but also the behind-the-scenes musicians who chipped in. From western suits to wah-wah pedals, here are the 11 coolest artifacts on display. 

Johnny Cash's Grammy

Johnny Cash’s Grammy for ‘Nashville Skyline’

Bob Dylan had already recorded most of Nashville Skyline by February 1969, when he and longtime friend Johnny Cash booked a pair of days at a Nashville-area recording studio. Two days later, they'd recorded more than a dozen duets. One of those duets, "Girl From the North Country," became the first track on Nashville Skyline. Cash wrote the liner notes for the album, too, later winning a Grammy for his work.

Bob Dylan ticket

Bob Dylan Ticket Stub

Ten days before the start of his Nashville recording sessions for Blonde on Blonde, Bob Dylan played the Convention Center in Louisville, Kentucky, on February 4, 1966. Admission cost just six bucks. 

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