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Readers vote Patsy Cline Museum as best music museum in North America

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Visitors to this winning museum get a glimpse inside the life of a country music legend

The United States has been the birthplace of numerous musical genres, and some of the world’s most famous singers, songwriters and performing artists start here. These museums celebrate American musical history, through the lens of a specific artist or genre, or with a big picture approach.

  • Patsy Cline Museum

    Patsy Cline Museum
    Nashville

    Patsy Cline died young – she was only 30 years old – but she left a big mark on the American country music industry. This Nashville museum explores her life and work through artifacts, personal belongings, video and audio recordings and costumes.
    Photo courtesy of Patsy Cline Museum

  • Stax Museum of American Soul Music

    Stax Museum of American Soul Music
    Memphis

    The Stax Museum is one of only a few museums in the world dedicated to soul music, and it claims to be the only museum that focuses specifically on American soul. This Memphis-based museum is stationed at the original location of the Stax Records studio, where legendary musicians recorded, such as Isaac Hayes, Booker T and Otis Redding. Visitors see more than 2,000 related artifacts, browse soul music museums and check out exhibits. Don’t miss the films that feature other influential soul artists, such as Al Green and Patti LaBelle.
    Photo courtesy of Stax Museum of American Soul Music

  • Johnny Cash Museum

    Johnny Cash Museum
    Nashville

    This dedicated space to the Man in Black is packed with Johnny Cash memorabilia, including costumes, gold and platinum records, handwritten song lyrics and even a piece of the wall from the home he shared with June. A small theater screens clips of Cash’s television and movie appearances.
    Photo courtesy of Johnny Cash Museum

  • Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum

    Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum
    Nashville

    The Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum in Nashville gives music lovers the chance to see instruments, costumes, studio booths and other artifacts once used by some of America’s most famous recording artists up close and in person.
    Photo courtesy of Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum

  • Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum

    Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum
    Owensboro, Ky.

    Kentucky’s Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum celebrates the history and culture of bluegrass music from its roots to the present day. The Hall of Fame Room highlights significant figures in the art form, while two gallery spaces host rotating exhibits.
    Photo courtesy of Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum

  • B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center

    B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center
    Indianola, Miss.

    The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola celebrates the blues – America's music – and the man who helped spread its popularity around the world. Interactive exhibits and artifacts trace the history of the blues through its Mississippi Delta roots through the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
    Photo courtesy of B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center

  • Motown Museum

    Motown Museum
    Detroit

    The Motown Museum in Detroit, a.k.a. Hitsville USA, is the home and heart of Motown. Tens of thousands of people visit this location, one of the region’s most bustling tourist hot spots, to can see historical memorabilia, photos and learn more about the history of Motown Record Company. Make sure you visit Studio A, where some of the most popular Motown music was recorded.
    Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Paul Sancya

  • GRAMMY Museum Mississippi

    GRAMMY Museum Mississippi
    Cleveland, Miss.

    The 28,000-square-foot GRAMMY Museum Mississippi opened its doors in 2011 with two dozen exhibits exploring American music history in the state. Mississippi was chosen as the site for this second GRAMMY Museum due to its rich musical heritage – the state has more GRAMMY winners per capital than any other state in the nation.
    Photo courtesy of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi

  • Delta Blues Museum

    Delta Blues Museum
    Clarksdale, Miss.

    The Delta Blues Museum ranks as Mississippi’s oldest music museum, as it’s been celebrating the blues since 1979. The collection includes a variety of music-related artifacts – instruments, sheet music, posters, photographs, recordings, costumes and visual art. Highlights include guitars from John Lee Hooker and B.B. King, as well as mementos from the life of Big Mama Thornton.
    Photo courtesy of Delta Blues Museum

  • Songbirds Guitar Museum

    Songbirds Guitar Museum
    Chattanooga, Tenn.

    Music history comes alive in Chattanooga's Songbirds Guitar Museum, where the storied 4,000-year history of the guitar is traced through a collection of rare and vintage instruments, as well as exhibits highlighting how the guitar developed in various regions of the United States and ultimately impacted history. 
    Photo courtesy of Songbirds Guitar Museum

  • Patsy Cline Museum
  • Stax Museum of American Soul Music
  • Johnny Cash Museum
  • Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum
  • Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum
  • B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center
  • Motown Museum
  • GRAMMY Museum Mississippi
  • Delta Blues Museum
  • Songbirds Guitar Museum

The top 10 winners in the category Best Music Museum are as follows:

  1. Patsy Cline Museum - Nashville
  2. Stax Museum of American Soul Music - Memphis
  3. Johnny Cash Museum - Nashville
  4. Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum - Nashville
  5. Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum - Owensboro, Ky.
  6. B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center - Indianola, Miss.
  7. Motown Museum - Detroit
  8. GRAMMY Museum Mississippi - Cleveland, Miss.
  9. Delta Blues Museum - Clarksdale, Miss.
  10. Songbirds Guitar Museum - Chattanooga, Tenn.

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning music museums!

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