Tom Petty Display Opens at Country Music Hall of Fame

New exhibit showcases Tom Petty's influence on country music.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – June 14, 2024 – The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum has unveiled a new display dedicated to Tom Petty, emphasizing his southern roots and lasting influence on country music. Titled “Tom Petty: Where I Come From,” the exhibit features various artifacts from Petty’s career and will be available to visitors through summer 2025.

Tom Petty, a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member, often cited his upbringing in the American South and his residence in Southern California as significant influences on his music. He drew inspiration from country-rock bands such as the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield. The Petty display complements the museum’s major exhibition, “Western Edge: The Roots and Reverberations of Los Angeles Country-Rock”, presented by City National Bank.

Petty’s connection to country music is highlighted in his 1985 album with the Heartbreakers, “Southern Accents.” Throughout his career, he collaborated with various Country Music Hall of Fame members, including Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, George Strait, and Marty Stuart. Petty’s influence on contemporary country music has inspired a forthcoming tribute album, “Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty,” featuring artists like Luke Combs, Rhiannon Giddens, and Chris Stapleton.

Items on display include:

– **Guitar and strap:** A Gretsch Roundup model 6130, a favorite of Petty’s, adorned with western motifs and a leather strap. Petty used this guitar in the studio and on “Saturday Night Live” in 1989.

– **Jacket:** Worn by Petty during the Live Aid concert in 1985 and the Southern Accents Tour, designed by Glenn Palmer with unique embroidery.

– **Stage wear:** Vintage western shirt, pants with decorative studs, and suede boots worn during Mudcrutch tours in 2008 and 2016.

– **Song manuscript:** Handwritten lyrics for “Southern Accents,” the title track of the 1985 album. Dolly Parton recently recorded a version for the tribute album.

Additionally, a letter from Petty praising Byrds’ founder Chris Hillman is featured in the “Western Edge” exhibit.

About the Western Edge exhibit:

The exhibit “Western Edge: The Roots and Reverberations of Los Angeles Country-Rock” explores the influential country-rock scene in Los Angeles from the 1960s to the 1980s. It showcases the rise of bands like the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and the Eagles, who blended rock and country music. The exhibit runs through summer 2025.

About Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum:

The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting country music’s history. The museum offers exhibitions, publications, digital media, and educational programs to explore the cultural significance of country music. More information is available at or by calling (615) 416-2001.

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