Ranked as the number one music museum in the world by Forbes and National Geographic Traveler, the Johnny Cash Museum holds one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive collections of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia in the world.
Located in the heart of downtown Nashville at 119 3rd Ave S, Nashville – between Broadway and Demonbreun streets – the museum allows you to look back to the legendary life of the Man in Black. Here you will find performance costumes, handwritten lyrics, a wall filled with Cash’s gold and platinum records, and so much more.
Let’s get a closer look at this museum that could fill every heart of Johnny Cash lovers.
The Museum’s History
The original museum honoring the legendary recording artists – known as House of Cash – can be found in Hendersonville, Tennessee, where Cash lived for more than thirty years. However, the property has been closed for a long time and started to get into its worst shape, day by day. You will get a glimpse of it in the music video of Cash’s 2002 hit “Hurt.”
In 2007, Cash’s family attempted to restore the House of Cash – however, it was caught by accidental fire during renovations and had fallen to a state of disrepair. Many fans worldwide were saddened by the fact that they no longer have a place to celebrate Cash’s legacy.
Luckily, Cash’s close friends – Bill and Shannon Miller – donated their personal collections of artifacts and memorabilia to open Johnny Cash Museum in 2013. Three years later, they further expanded the museum. They added state-of-the-art interactive exhibits – such as technology that centers on creating mixes of Johnny Cash songs and listening to covers of his music by dozens of artists.
Because of this, the museum became one of only six Nashville attractions to earn the esteemed AAA Gem rating.
The museum features different exhibits to highlight many periods in Cash’s life, from his stint in the Air Force, music career to his marriage to June Carter. Let’s check out some of it.
1. Personal Memorabilia. The entire place is a treasure house of gems associated with the life and career of the legendary singer. The collection highlighting different periods of his life is definitely extensive. You will find unique pieces like an early radio from his humble beginnings of a family listening to Grand Ole Opry at their cotton farm to his U.S. Air Force uniform during his days as a military operator. Cash’s old Martin guitar is also on full display.
There’s absolutely no limit to memorabilia that would appeal to every country music fan.
2. Musical Mementos. There’s also a vast collection to help you celebrate Cash’s legendary music career – such as stage outfits and an impressive variety of his instruments. In addition, Cash’s awards lined the museum’s walls along with his gold and platinum records. They are featured on the Progression of the Sound exhibit, which chronicles Cash’s journey as a recording artist throughout the various genres and crossover work that characterized his influential career.
Moreover, there’s also a stonewall salvaged from the destroyed House of Cash in Hendersonville. It was carefully reconstructed to give everyone a glimpse into his relationship with June Carter Cash.
3. The Artist’s Career. There is a part in the museum exclusively dedicated to Cash’s time with his record label, Sun Records – who helped launch his career, including other renowned artists such as Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley. You will have fun watching video clips that show Cash’s personal interactions with fellow iconic performers.
Moreover, the museum also has small theaters that allow fans to watch and enjoy clips of his several performances.
Things To Remember When Visiting Johnny Cash Museum
- The facility does not have its own downtown parking, nor does it provide one. However, you can find several different parking options nearby.
- The museum is self-guided – this means you have the freedom of how long or how little time you spend inside, but it’s highly recommended to give yourself at least an hour to tour.
- While the establishment is completely wheelchair accessible, they do not provide wheelchairs.
- The management does not allow luggage, carry-on bags, or oversized backpacks inside the museum, and they can’t be checked, too – so you might want to drop your things first in your hotel accommodation before visiting the museum.
- There are special group rates available for groups of more than fifteen. You can call 615.806.7851 for more information.
The Johnny Cash Museum welcomes visitors every day from 9 AM to 7 PM but may have reduced hours or be closed for special events and certain holidays. It can also get crowded at times; the best time to visit is early in the morning or a few hours before it closes.
Tickets for adults cost $20.95, while students, seniors, and military members get a discounted price of $19.95. Admission for those who are age 15 and below cost $16.95, while kids age five and younger can get in free as long as they are with a paying adult.
In addition to the exhibits, there’s also a gift shop filled with Johnny Cash souvenirs and collectibles – so make sure to drop by and bring home memorabilia for such a wonderful experience. You can also check out the museum café and coffee shop – Cash’s personal chili recipe is served at the onsite café is a must-try.