Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville Ballet Honor Chet Atkins

Original ballet performance celebrates Chet Atkins' 100th birthday.

The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum, in partnership with the Nashville Ballet, has released an original ballet performance to honor the 100th birthday of legendary guitarist Chet Atkins. The performance, set to Atkins’ recording of the “Jitterbug Waltz,” premiered on YouTube today.

The three-minute performance video features Nashville Ballet dancers Cassandra Thoms and Shaiya Donohue. The piece was choreographed and co-directed by Nashville Ballet Artistic Director and CEO Nick Mullikin. It was filmed in the Hall of Fame Rotunda of the museum, surrounded by bronze plaques of Hall of Fame members and Thomas Hart Benton’s mural “The Sources of Country Music.”

The dancers’ costumes were inspired by the figures in Benton’s mural, adding a historical touch to the performance. The video also showcases a 1954 Standel 25L15 amplifier and a Gretsch Streamliner Special 6120 guitar model, both designed by and belonging to Atkins.

Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating, “In celebration of the centennial anniversary of Chet’s birth, we are honored to partner with the Nashville Ballet to showcase Chet’s enduring music and deserved recognition among the greatest guitarists of all time.”

Nick Mullikin added, “It’s a true honor to be able to create a special piece of work for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to celebrate Chet Atkins. The opportunity to bring our two organizations together for this one-of-a-kind performance event not only exemplifies our commitment to excellence in the arts community but honors the heritage of Music City as well.”

The project was funded by David and Karen Conrad, with additional support from Metro Arts and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Chet Atkins, inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973, was a pioneering guitarist known for his thumb-and-two-finger picking style. He played a vital role in shaping the Nashville Sound and worked with numerous renowned artists throughout his career, including Hank Williams and the Everly Brothers. Atkins also held a significant position at RCA’s Nashville studios, eventually becoming RCA vice president in charge of Nashville operations. His contributions to music earned him numerous awards, including 15 Grammys and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

For more information on Chet Atkins, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s website here.

The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum, a not-for-profit educational organization, aims to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of country music. The museum offers a range of exhibitions, publications, digital media, and educational programs to explore the cultural significance of country music. More details about the museum can be found at or by calling (615) 416-2001.

The Nashville Ballet, Tennessee’s largest professional ballet company, presents a diverse range of classical and contemporary works. The 2024-25 season includes productions like Dracula, Nashville’s Nutcracker, and The Sleeping Beauty. Season tickets and packages are available for purchase at or by calling 615-297-2966 ext. 710.

Source: Read Original Release

Tom Petty Exhibit at Country Music Hall of Fame

The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in Nashville has opened a new exhibit titled “Tom Petty: Where I Come From,” showcasing artifacts from Tom Petty’s career and highlighting his impact on country music. The exhibit will be available through summer 2025 and complements the museum’s major exhibition, “Western Edge: The Roots and Reverberations of Los Angeles Country-Rock.