Like many, I decided to move to Nashville due to my passion for music, but more specifically, my long-standing obsession with rock and roll music history. Within a few months of my arrival, my family came to visit, and my dad said he had heard of a museum that housed the innards of American Sound Studio – home of the acclaimed studio band, the Memphis Boys. Amazed that the walls of that now demolished studio remained intact and on display in Nashville, we soon made our first visit to the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum.
Upon entering the museum, I instantly felt at home. The music I loved surrounded me and the deep history on display taught me an important lesson – look behind the star at the front of the stage. Dig to find the songwriters, the melody makers, and the names of the musicians you hear playing on your favorite records. Though their names are often not as well known or displayed in lights, they are the music, and they are forever celebrated and remembered at the Musicians Hall of Fame.
Being a graduate student at the time, soon after my visit, I emailed the museum’s contact page to inquire about an internship. From there I not only spent days exploring the museum and making lifelong friends with like-minded people, but I met Joe.
Joe Chambers is the Founder and CEO of the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. Upon meeting him, I was instantly inspired that he not only dreamt up this important mission and museum, but that he and his wife Linda had made it a reality. From my view, we all dream, but few have the resilience, dedication, patience, and passion to bring said dream to fruition. Joe was one of those people.
As my internship came to a close, Joe asked me to become his assistant. To say I was excited is an understatement. To my astonishment, Joe recognized my sincere interest and love for music history and provided me with an opportunity that has forever shaped my life. As his assistant, I not only had a front row seat at watching Joe in his element, but saw first hand the number of people touched by his founding of the Musicians Hall of Fame.
Over the course of my three and a half years at the museum, I spent countless hours learning from him and laughing with him. Though a known mischievous prankster, Joe was also one of kindest and most generous people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. From assisting numerous projects such as the 2019 induction ceremony and the Musicians Hall of Fame Backstage YouTube series, to aiding the museum as it maneuvered through the pandemic, I felt honored that Joe trusted and believed in me. I still do.
Though I am forever grateful for the professional experience and business insight I acquired from working with Joe, it is the impact of our friendship that will be everlasting.
Thank you, Joe, for your love, wisdom, and support. I will carry it with me always.
For all the music lovers who have made it this far, do yourself an immense favor and visit the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. Come see what you’ve heard!
Lastly, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum is a 501©(3) non-profit organization. If you are able, please consider donating towards the museum’s mission of honoring ALL musicians, including those behind-the-scenes players that often do not get the recognition they deserve.