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Museum Announces New Exhibit American Sound And Beauty: Guitars From The Bachman-gretsch Collection

November 12, 2015
Exterior of Country Music Hall of Fame taken from a drone.

Exhibit Is the Largest Collection of Stringed Instruments Ever Displayed by the Museum
and Marks the First Time This Collection Has Been Made Available to the Public

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – November 12, 2015 – The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will explore the history of the guitar with the exhibition American Sound and Beauty: Guitars from the Bachman-Gretsch Collection, which opens Jan. 15, 2016, and runs through July 2016.

The Bachman-Gretsch Collection of vintage Gretsch guitars will provide a visually stunning window into the evolution of the instrument, from the early 1930s to the early 1980s. This will be the largest exhibition of stringed instruments ever mounted by the museum. The seventy-five guitars to be presented will also offer the most comprehensive look at the Bachman-Gretsch Collection ever made available to the public.

The collection was amassed by Canadian guitarist and songwriter Randy Bachman, a key member of rock bands the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Bachman acquired more than three hundred historic and rare Gretsch guitars in the 1970s and 1980s. His collection was purchased in 2008 by the Gretsch Foundation, the charitable arm of the Gretsch Family.

“The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum are incredible stewards of over two million artifacts in their own collection,” said Gretsch president Fred Gretsch. “When thinking about where to debut this collection, they were the obvious choice to both tell the Gretsch story and showcase these beautiful works of art to the world.”

Each guitar in the Bachman-Gretsch Collection represents a classic music-making machine that helped drive popular music in new directions, across diverse genres. Their stylish aesthetics and innovative features offer insights into the rapid technological and cultural changes reflected in the Gretsch brand.

“This collection of instruments tells a story of American life,” said museum CEO Kyle Young. “From the Great Depression to the social unrest of the 1960s and 1970s, music has always evolved to reflect the important issues of the day, providing a soundtrack to history. Through sound and beauty these guitars reflect that evolution and tell our story.”

For additional information about the exhibition, visit Follow @countrymusichof on Twitter and join the conversation using #BachmanGretschExhibit.


Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and 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’s mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture.  With the same educational mission, the foundation also operates Historic RCA Studio B, Hatch Show PrintTM, CMF Records, the museum’s Frist Library and Archive and CMF Press. Museum programs are made possible, in part, by the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and under agreements with 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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