Mother Maybelle Carter's guitar and a vintage WSM microphone (such as those gracing the Grand Ole Opry stage) owned by Roy Acuff will be borne into their new home by numerous country legends during grand-opening ceremonies for the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The $37 million museum will open Thursday morning (May 17) in downtown Nashville with great fanfare, including red-carpet arrivals, live performances, tributes and a public ribbon-cutting ceremony.
More than 20 Grand Ole Opry stars including Emmylou Harris, Ralph Stanley, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Marty Stuart, Brad Paisley, Ricky Skaggs, Bill Anderson, Jimmy C. Newman, Joe Diffie, Riders in the Sky, Charlie Louvin, Porter Wagoner, Steve Gatlin, Hal Ketchum, Mel McDaniel, Hank Locklin, Stu Phillips, Del Reeves, Billy Walker and Charlie Walker will accompany the WSM microphone into its new home.
Hall of Fame members Kitty Wells, Charley Pride, Brenda Lee, Little Jimmy Dickens, George Jones, Earl Scruggs, Roy Horton, E. W. "Bud" Wendell and Jo Walker-Meador will accompany the ritual admission of Mother Maybelle's Gibson L-5 guitar, the last artifact to enter the museum prior to its official opening.
Jones, Scruggs, Stuart, Gill, Wendell, Pride and Wells will be among those either performing or speaking during the ceremony. Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist, Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell, Hall of Fame Director Kyle Young, MCA Records Nashville Chairman Bruce Hinton (who also chairs the Hall's Board of Trustees) and gospel singer Vestal Goodman will also participate in the ceremony.
The limousine procession of Hall of Fame members will be led by Otha Turner's Rising Star Fife and Drum Band.