Episode 2840.1 | Musicians Hall of Fame | Tennessee Crossroads

(soft jazzy music) (honky tonk piano music) – [Tammi] Here at the
Musicians Hall of Fame, it’s not necessarily
about the journey from the discovery of sound
waves to digital downloads, it’s about the people
who played the pianos, picked the guitars
and other instruments that were played on the
soundtrack of our lives. – I think one think that
people will take from here is the simplicity of, that you know you
don’t have to have a million dollars worth of
electronics to write a song. You can still write it
on paper or in your head, and you don’t have to
have a $2 million studio. These songs were all
recorded in studios with materials that you could
buy in a hardware store. – [Tammi] Joe Chambers
is the creator of the Musicians Hall of Fame. Joe is a talented songwriter having written several
chart-topping tunes, including “Somebody Lied,”
the first number one song for Ricky Van Shelton in 1987. Chambers and his co-writers started that song on this piano. It originally belonged
to CBS Records where Billy Sherrill
tickled these ivories to co-write such hits as “Stand by your Man,”
for Tammy Wynette, and “The Most Beautiful
Girl in the World” for Charlie Rich, among others. Chambers was given the piano when Sherrill upgraded
to a baby grand. – When I took this
home, my wife said, “Oh, we’ve gotta refinish that.” I went, “No, no, no, no.” This is maybe Charlie
Rich, I know Billy Sherrill and Glen Sutton
who were co-writers on so many of the songs. They were on this piano,
but just about anybody that came into Billy’s
office, and everybody smoked pretty much back then. They just lay the cigarettes
up here ’til they burned out. – [Tammi] Absolutely,
that’s the character. – Well, there’s probably
a gallon of scotch in here too, somewhere. (Tammi laughing) – [Tammi] The Hall is
filled with instruments that made musical magic. Those songs that have
permanently taken up residence in our memory. – [Joe] People
come through here, and, “I just relived
my whole life.” – [Tammi] There are also
artifacts of the artists’ life like a cast of Roy Orbison,
when he broke his foot in a motorcycle accident, or his signature sunglasses, or this hand-scratched
lyric sheets of “Holes in the
Floor of Heaven,” which won Steve Wariner
and his co-writer a Grammy, or the actual walls of the
American studio in Memphis where Elvis recorded
“Suspicious Minds” and “Kentucky Rain.” Chambers says the
Memphis boys who played on so many of the monster
hits of the ’60s and ’70s have come to visit. – [Joe] The guys were here, and they walked
around the corner, and they about fell out. They were speechless, actually. And that was one of the
best times I’ve ever had was seeing their reaction
to seeing the place they had created so
much great music, in some form still existed. Something they
thought was long gone. – [Tammi] One thing that
was almost long gone was this storied upright bass belonging to Lightning Chance used on Conway Twitty’s
“It’s Only Make Believe,” Everly Brothers “All I
Have to Do Is Dream,” and Hank Williams Sr.
“Your Cheating Heart,” just to name a few. During the flood of 2010,
the bass was destroyed, decimated, but
Williams Fine Violins miraculously restored it,
even replacing the map that helped hold the
homemade drum head on its left shoulder in place. – [Joe] It’s still
attached with the same, you can look in the picture, they took a 1957
Texaco road map, I know because I took
the time to unfold it, and fold it up and
made a wedge out of it to keep it tight
along with they took the tension bar off
of a screen door and cut it and bent the ends and used the little
tension rod in the middle to squeeze the drum
head to the bass. That’s how they attached
it, that’s that. (guitar picking) – Anyway, that’s what I
used to do when I was a kid, and then I used to
try to imitate Chet. – [Tammi] Duane Eddy,
the legendary guitarist is honored here. Best known for “Rebel Rouser,”
which he wrote in 1958. It became part of the
iconic movie “Forrest Gump” released in 1994. Eddy says he’s humbled
Joe included him in such an elite
group of music makers. – When I came through and saw he had it started, and I
saw his first version if it, and I realized, “I
know all those guys,” and it said what
records they were on, and like you say,
you get chill bumps. – [Tammi] Although the Hall is
located in downtown Nashville on the bottom floor of
the Municipal Auditorium, it encompasses every genre and geographical area of music. – [Joe] We represent
Motown to Muscle Shoals to Los Angeles and New York, and, of course, Nashville, and everything in between. – [Tammi] For Jay McDowell,
the upright bass player of the Grammy
nominated group BR549, the Hall is about
honoring the unsung heroes of an industry that
touches us all, and in this day of
digital everything, it’s purpose is also
about sheltering the tangible tools of tunesmiths from years ago. – We have to preserve
the history of it and teach the kids
coming through the process of the recording
and the way it’s evolved, but it is a little sad at times that these instruments
are behind glass. They should be making music.


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