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Master Harmonica Player Mickey Raphael To Be Featured In Nashville Cats Series

May 31, 2018
Exterior of Country Music Hall of Fame taken from a drone.
Mickey Rafael

NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 31, 2018 – The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will explore the career of harmonica virtuoso Mickey Raphael in the next edition of the museum’s signature program series Nashville Cats: A Celebration of Music City Musicians. The program will include an interview and performance, and is set for Saturday, June 16, at 2 p.m. in the museum’s Ford Theater. In keeping with tradition, the interview will incorporate elements from the museum’s rich collection, including vintage photos, film footage and recordings. Following the program, Raphael will sign commemorative Hatch Show Print posters available for purchase in the Museum Store.

Texas native Mickey Raphael was 20 years old when he met Willie Nelson in 1973. Raphael was a harmonica player on tour with singer-songwriter B.W. Stevenson. The meeting marked the start of a lifelong musical partnership between Raphael and Nelson. The harmonica player’s signature sound helped Nelson cross radio formats and find a new generation of fans. In addition to his featured role in Nelson’s band for more than 40 years, Raphael has contributed his master harmonica skills to recordings by Johnny Cash, Guy Clark, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Elton John, Alison Krauss, Margo Price, Snoop Dogg, Chris Stapleton and U2.

This program presented in conjunction with the museum exhibit Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ʼ70s, in which Raphael’s gold ring with diamonds, signifying his membership in the band Willie Nelson and Family, is on display. Admission to the program is included with museum admission and free to museum members. Seating is limited and program passes are required for admittance. Museum members can reserve passes in advance by phone, 615-416-2050, or by emailing The program will be streamed live at

The series Nashville Cats features masterful musicians whose work has made a significant impact on Nashville and its music. Recent subjects include Richard Bennett, Duane Eddy, Paul Franklin, Mac Gayden, Steve Gibson, Jim Horn, Mac McAnally, Joey Miskulin, Leon Rhodes, Michael Rhodes, Billy Sanford, Pete Wade, Bill Walker, Bergen White and Andrea Zonn. Additional information about the series Nashville Cats and video of previous interviews can be found at


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Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Zoe Chichelo  -

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The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum collects, preserves, and interprets country music and its history for the education and entertainment of diverse audiences. In exhibits, publications, and educational programs, the museum explores the cultural importance and enduring beauty of the art form. The museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and for the last three years in a row has welcomed over one million patrons each year, placing it among the ten most-visited history museums in the U.S. The Country Music Foundation operates Historic RCA Studio B™ , Hatch Show Print® poster shop, CMF Records, the Frist Library and Archive, and CMF Press. Museum programs are supported by Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at or by calling (615) 416-2001.

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