The Nashville Cats: Charlie McCoy, Kenny Buttrey, Wayne Moss, and David Briggs

The Nashville Cats

Both part and product of the dynamic Nashville music scene of the late 1960s, the Nashville Cats exhibited a multitude of talents. Their ranks ranged from veteran guitar pickers and Grand Ole Opry legends to pioneer multi-instrumentalists and Muscle Shoals rhythm players. Starting with the easy-going and creative sessions for Bob Dylan's Nashville albums, the Nashville Cats went on to work with a vast cross-section of the recording industry. The Cats' prowess and efficiency revived Nashville as an in-demand music hub, and the hits they played on defined the country and rock genres for many years afterward. 

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The artifacts displayed here include Charlie McCoy's Hohner harmonica (at the far left of the case), Kenny Buttrey's snare drum, and a thank-you letter from Joan Baez to Buttrey and other Nashville Cats.

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Charlie McCoy

Charlie McCoy's ability to summon up creative musical parts impressed Bob Dylan at a New York session and helped convinced Dylan to travel to Nashville to record his album Blonde on Blonde.

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Kenny Buttrey

Kenny Buttrey described his work on Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay," from Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline, as his proudest moment. He also played for Dylan on Blonde on Blonde, John Wesley Harding, and Self Portrait. This Rogers snare drum was part of Buttrey's first drum set. 

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Wayne Moss

Wayne Moss's iconic guitar riffs helped forge the identifiable sounds of country and rock hits. Moss became a founding member of two early Nashville rock bands, the Escorts and the Casuals. He later was a key member of groundbreaking country-rock bands Area Code 615 and Barefoot Jerry.

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David Briggs

In 1969, David Briggs and bassist-producer Norbert Putnam (also featured in this exhibit) opened Quadrafonic Sound Studios in Nashville, and the studio became a favorite of visitors from New York, Los Angeles, and other music centers.

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When Bob Dylan engaged Nashville musicians to craft a series of landmark albums, and when Johnny Cash brought rock, pop, and folk to town to appear on his groundbreaking TV show, they initiated a blending of musical genres that has echoed down through generations. After Dylan and Cash showed the way, acoustic instruments and country-flavored arrangements began surfacing in music made across America, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Today, Nashville's music community includes internationally recognized rockers, pop hitmakers, singer-songwriters of every flavor, and an Americana movement that provides a vision of roots music different from the one created on Music Row.

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