Stop by the Willie Nelson Museum to experience the history of Willie and some of the other country artists that made country music so popular and turned Nashville into "Music City"!
View one of the largest displays in the world of personal items from Willie and his many friends - such as Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Porter Wagoner, Faron Young, Dolly Parton, the Wilburn Brothers, Webb Pierce, Mel Tillis, George Jones, Jeannie Seely, Marty Stuart, Connie Smith, Ronnie Milsap, Kenny Rogers, Dottie West, David Frizzell, Shelly West and many, many others.
Every visitor receives a detailed four page guide that describes all the great exhibits and items you'll see as you take your self-guided tour.
And, on the same property, you can easily find great souvenirs and keepsakes at the Willie Nelson General Store. Of course there's Willie Nelson merchandise - including t-shirts, guitars, hoodies, mugs, bandanas, BBQ sauces, DVD movies, music CD's and more - but there's also a huge assortment of unique Nashville, Jack Daniels and country music related souvenirs.
9:00 am to 8:00 pm daily
Please Note: Time shown on Availability Calendar is for booking purposes only and reflects the opening time each day. You will receive an OPEN tour time E-Ticket and can begin your tour at any time during the operating hours.
If your party is 6 persons or more, we provide a SUPER SAVER offer at 25% off the regular rates! Please click this link to order for a party of 6 or more persons: Willie Nelson Museum Tickets - SUPER SAVER.
If you really want to experience the history of Willie Nelson and some of the country artists that made country music so popular and turned Nashville into "Music City" - you've got to stop by the Willie Nelson Museum for a visit! You'll see one of the largest displays of personal items from Willie and so many of his friends who also are country music legends. As Willie says, "Gee ain't it funny how time slips away," and time may slip away...but you can make sure the memories don't at the famous Willie Nelson Museum!
History of The Willie Nelson Museum
The Willie Nelson and Friends General Store & Museum was founded July 4, 1979 in Madison, Tennessee with Willie's good friends Frank and Jeanie Oakley as the storekeepers. The General Store began life as a local art & picture framing store that Willie frequented often while visiting his friends and staying at his cabin in Ridgetop.
The art shop quickly amassed a large display of framed artwork and photographs of country music stars as well as a lot of Willie memorabilia and souvenirs. In the fall of 1979, Willie was voted country music's highest honor - Entertainer of the Year - and before long, more people were coming to see the Willie items than those looking for picture framing...so the Willie Nelson General Store was born.
Those were great times and very special because you never knew who might show up and hang out at the Store. Customers were fortunate to meet and spend many memorable hours with legends like Faron Young, Charlie Dick (Patsy Cline's husband), Mac Wiseman, Webb Pierce, Billy Walker, Roy Acuff, Jim Ed Brown, Hank Cochran, Del Reeves, Floyd Tillman, Patsy Montana, and of course, Willie Nelson.
Eventually, it was a natural to move into Nashville itself - an easy walk from the Gaylord Opryland Hotel - and have both a museum to showcase the history of traditional country music, as well as the store. Although 31 years have passed, the Museum & General Store continue growing thanks to loyal customers. At more than 10,000 square feet, this is now the largest gift shop and museum in Nashville dedicated to traditional country music!
People are fascinated with Willie Nelson's journey from a small town boy in Texas to his current status as a legendary musician, songwriter, activist and philanthropist. He's accomplished a lot throughout the years and to this day still continues making great music, racking up accolades and miles on his bus, the "Honeysuckle Rose IV," accompanied as always by his trusted guitar "Trigger."
During his extensive career, Willie Nelson has written more than 2,500 songs and has released close to 300 albums. He is recognized worldwide as an American troubadour and icon, transcending musical genres, and has remained relevant through five decades through his music, acting, and as the face of several social causes. Born in Abbott, Texas on April 30, 1933, Willie was the son of Myrle and Ira D. Nelson. With their grandmother, Willie and Bobbie attended their town's small Methodist church where they were first exposed to music. Both grandparents loved music and encouraged Willie and his sister to play. Nelson's famous gospel song "Family Bible" reflects the influence of his musical beginnings.
Willie got his first guitar at the early age of six and soon started writing his own songs. A few years later, he played his first professional gig with a local polka band. Nelson later joined Bud Fletcher and the Texans and played the local club circuit. Also in the group was his sister Bobbie, who played piano.
After graduating high school in 1950, he performed a number of jobs including one as a radio disc jockey for several years...and he played gigs in his spare time. He continued writing songs, producing some of his most famous works, including "Night Life," "Crazy," and "Funny How Time Slips Away" in the late 1950s.
In 1960, Nelson moved to the country music capital of Nashville, Tennessee. He got a job as a songwriter for Pamper Music, earning about $50 a week. The next year, two of his songs become hits for other artists - Faron Young's version of "Hello Walls" and Patsy Cline's legendary rendition of "Crazy." His first album was released the next year without generating much notice. Singer Ray Price, with whom Nelson had played with previously, made Nelson's song "Night Life" a big hit in 1963. It seemed that his songs were only successful when they were sung by other people.
After his home in Ridgetop, Tennessee burned down in 1970, Nelson moved from Nashville, back to his native Texas. He became part of the country music scene in Austin and started hosting his now legendary Fourth of July picnics. Inspired by Woodstock, the gatherings became popular musical celebrations, and included performances from other country music outlaws such as Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings. He purchased property near Lake Travis in Austin and converted it into the Perdernales Studio. The studio underwent state of the art renovations during the mid 1990s, and many top recording artists adorn its client list. Nelson also kept recording albums, definitely going his own way. Soon the long haired, bandana-wearing guitarist started to develop a following. Shotgun Willie (1973) is considered to be one of his greatest albums of all time, and showcased his abilities as a singer, storyteller, and performer.
With his album Red Headed Stranger (1975), Nelson had his first taste of crossover success. It did well on both the country and rock charts and featured the hit "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain." Along with being his first song to reach No. 1 on the country charts, the song also brought Nelson his first Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance in 1975. Around this time, he contributed to the compilation Wanted: The Outlaws, which also featured Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser. Nelson and Jennings also collaborated on the popular song "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys," which won the 1978 Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.
Always interested in different music styles, Nelson recorded his own takes on some American standards on his album Stardust (1978). His cover of Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell's "Georgia on My Mind" earned him his second Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance. Beyond its critical success, the album proved to have staying power as well, lingering on the country charts for a decade!
Around this time, Willie also branched out into acting, first appearing in The Electric Horseman (1979) starring Robert Redford. Soon after, he starred in Honeysuckle Rose (1980), in which he played a veteran country musician performer. The film featured the song "On the Road Again," which earned Nelson an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. Now considered a trademark Willie Nelson tune, "On the Road Again" also won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1980.
In 1979, Willie Nelson received Country Music's highest honor when he was selected "Entertainer of the Year" by the Country Music Association. That same year saw the opening of the Willie Nelson and Family General Store.
Over the ensuing 30 years, Willie has continued acting in movies and on television.
The ballad "Always on my Mind" won the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance in 1982. Albums Without A Song (1984) and City of New Orleans (1984) reached the top or near the top of the country charts. Singing with singer Julio Iglesias, Nelson scored a big hit with the ballad "To All the Girls I've Loved Before" in 1984.
The following year, Nelson teamed up with Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson to form the Highwaymen. Their first release, Highwayman (1985) was a big hit, as was the title track. The group went on to produce a live album and another studio effort, Highwayman 2 (1995).
Known for his compassion, Nelson - along with Neil Young and John Mellencamp - organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985 in an effort to help family farmers. To date, the Farm Aid organization has raised more than $30 million and continues to work to keep family farmers on their land.
Willie Nelson received Kennedy Center Honors in 1998. A star-studded television special celebrating his 70th birthday aired in 2003 and he continues performing around the world.
Hotel pick-up not included.
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