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The Country Music Hall of Fame is honoring the musicians that played a major role in making Nashville Music City.

In the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, the quality of musicians in Nashville made some of music’s biggest stars want to record there. Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel and Neil Diamond all have Nashville musicians on some of their biggest hits.

A new record and live outdoor concert will celebrate the musicians known as the Nashville Cats.

“Nashville Cats is a term that’s come to represent the best players in Nashville, the guys who work every day in the recording studios, especially in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s,” said Michael McCall with the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Sixteen of those pickers and players are now honored inside the hall of fame. While their names may be unknown to many, their talent made Nashville a sort of Mecca for other artists to come and record.

Jeff Hanna brought his Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to Nashville from California in 1971 and recorded with some of the Nashville’s biggest names, including Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs and Mother Maybelle Carter.

“The fact that the musicians here were not only amazing but also they were so generous and so easy to hang out with,” Hanna said.

A new album released by the hall of fame serves as a reminder of the Nashville Cats and their prowess.

“They included our track Will the Circle Be Unbroken from our album of the same name that we recorded here in Nashville in 1971,” Hanna said. “Which is our first experience recording in Nashville, which is really great for us.”

A live concert is scheduled outside the Country Music Hall of Fame on Tuesday night to honor the Nashville Cats and those who came to Nashville to record. The concert will include Michael Nesmith of the Monkees, who recorded there in 1967.

Copyright 2015 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Feature Reporter

Terry Bulger has been bringing you stories of the people and places that make Tennessee unique and interesting on News4 since 1990.

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