215 West Main St. Swainsboro, Georgia
Open 6 Days A Week
10am-5pm / Monday -Saturday
Located Inside Main Street Market Antique Mall
See one of the largest private collections of authentic Items and
personal clothing once owned by over 200 famous singers,
From The 1950's To Present Date...
Country, Rock, Pop, Jazz, R&B, Bluegrass, Gospel
The Music Memories Museum in Swainsboro Georgia is one mile from The Nancy Auditorium where Country Music singer Hank Williams Jr. performed in front of a live audience for the very first time March 22, 1958. He was only 8 years old and was with his mother Audrey Williams. Brenda Lee's first paid performance was on the same stage in 1953 at the age of 9, she was paid $35. Patsy Cline performed on the stage in 1957 at the age of 25. Also Rock-n-Roll singer J.P. Richardson known as "The Big Bopper" performed on the same stage in November 1958 and 3 months later he died in the airplane crash with Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly known as "The Day The Music Died".
Jack A. Thompson opened the WJAT radio station in April 1950. The radio call letters was his initials. He later developed a plan for an auditorium to be used for concerts. Known as the Peach State Jamboree. The auditorium was attached to the radio station. It was opened April 1954. It was named after his wife Nancy.
In 1957 Grand Ole Opry star Webb Pierce and General Manager of the Grand Ole Opry Jim Denny went in as partners and purchased the Nancy Auditorium and WJAT radio station. They had some sort of arrangement, if they booked a group or singer for the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. they also had to perform at the Nancy Auditorium in Swainsboro GA.. Johnnie Bailes of the Bailes Brothers also moved to Swainsboro about the same time. Webb Pierce hired Johnnie Bailes as the General Manager for WJAT radio. Johnnie lived in Swainsboro until he died in 1989.
Hundreds of famous singers performed in Swainsboro between the 1950s-1970s such as; (Country Singers) Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Brenda Lee, Chet Atkins, Roy Acuff, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Ray Price, Hank Snow, Mel Tillis, Kitty Wells, Ernest Tubb, Carl Perkins, Jim Reeves, Connie Smith, Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, Little Jimmy Dickens, George Morgan, Minnie Pearl, Red Sovine, Carl Smith, Porter Wagner, Statler Brothers, Wilburn Brothers, Faron Young, (Gospel Singers) Blackwood Brothers, Happy Goodman Family, Bailes Brothers, Oak Ridge Boys, Chuck Wagon Gang, Lewis Family, Byrd Family, JD Sumner & The Stamps and (Rock-N-Roll Singers) Jerry Lee Lewis, Big Bopper, The Kinks, 3 Dog Night, Tony Orlando & Dawn ,The Tams, Swinging Medallions and many others.
Read more local music history like this in the museum.
The Museum is FREE ADMISSION
The Nancy Auditorium is still standing, but not open to the public at this time.
If you would like to donate to the Music Memories Museum to help preserve local Music history, please go to this link> https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=DJUQDFHWWM2NQ
When you visit the museum, you will see authentic items and personal clothing once owned by these singers listed below;
Country Music Artist
Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Tommy Cash, Webb Pierce, Lynn Anderson, Dottie West, Jimmy Dean, Jan Howard, Bill Anderson Jim Ed Brown, Johnnie Bailes of the Bailes Brothers, Faron Young, Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, Kitty Wells, Carl Smith, Red Foley, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas, Jack Green, Cal Smith, Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb, Roy Clark, Buck Owens, Jeannie Seely, Charlie McCoy, Tom T. Hall, Jeannie C. Riley, Archie Campbell, Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Charlie Rich, Sonny James, BJ Thomas, Jerry Reed, Mac Davis, John Denver, Kenny Rogers, Eddie Rabbitt, Mel McDaniel, Ricky Van Shelton, John Schneider, Charlie Daniels, Kathy Mattea, Mickey Gilley, Crystal Gayle, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Ronnie McDowell, Harold Reid of the Statler Brothers, Billy Ray Cyrus, T. Graham Brown, Johnny Paycheck, Don Williams, Johnny Lee, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Mel Tillis, Pam Tillis, Molly Bee, Marty Robbins, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Little Jimmy Dickens, Ray Price, Jim Reeves, Bill Monroe, Hank Williams Sr., Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard, Glenn Campbell, Tanya Tucker, Suzy Bogguss, Ronnie Milsap, Ray Benson of Asleep At The Wheel, Marty Stuart, Gene Watson, Charley Pride, Ricky Skaggs, John Anderson, Randy Travis, Leann Rimes, Barbara Mandrell, Reba McEntire, Trace Adkins, Neal McCoy, Terri Clark, Holly Dunn, Martina McBride, Joe Stampley, Dwight Yoakam, Clint Black, Sammy Kershaw, Collin Raye, Josh Turner, Vern Gosdin, Joe Bonsall of Oakridge Boys, Tracy Lawrence, Steve Warner, Hal Ketchum, Rascal Flatts, Billy Dean, Mark Chestnut, Lorrie Morgan, Keith Whitley, The Band Perry, Toby Keith, Montgomery Gentry, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, George Strait, The Judds, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Maggie Rose, Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Craig Morgan, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney.
Rock-N-Roll / Pop Artist
Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Ringo Starr, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, (Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees), Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Swingin Medallions, The Rascals, Cher, Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers, Artimus Pyle of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sheryl Crow, Joe Cocker, Peter Cetera of Chicago, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Michael McDonald of The Doobie Brothers, Linda Ronstadt, Ann Wilson of Heart, Freddie Mercury of Queen, Paul Stanley of KISS, Bono of U2, Eddie Van Halen, Slash of Gun N Roses, Delbert McClinton, Miley Cyrus, Karen Carpenter, Olivia Newton-John
Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown, Smokey Robinson, Prince, BB King, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Little Richard, Al Jarreau, Ron Townsend of The 5th Dimension
Middle of The Road - Crooners/Jazz Artist
Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr., Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Debbie Reynolds, Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, Brenda Lee, The Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson, Wayne Osmond of The Osmonds, Dan Fogelberg, Glenn Yarbrough, Harry Connick Jr., Paul Shaffer, Kenny G
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As long as I can remember I always loved to sing. I enjoyed all types of music.
I remember my father told me that whatever you love to do, be sure to get around as many other people who love to do the same thing and learn all you can about it.
I ended up in the music industry for over 20 years. I started singing secular music, a little rock-n-roll but more country music. During that time I was introduced to country singer Ronnie McDowell. Through his friendship I was able to meet many singers such as; Conway Twitty, Reba McEntire, Roy Clarke, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Acuff, Tanya Tucker, Sawyer Brown, just to name a few. But one memory I will never forget was when I had the rare opportunity to stand side by side with Roy Acuff on the grand Ole Opry stage.. Later in life I gave my life to the Lord and started singing Southern Gospel Music. The next thing that happened, my music charted in the top 40 in the USA. I was also the first and only Southern Gospel recording artist to have 5 songs chart in the Top 25 simultaneously in the United Kingdom on Sonrise Radio. Two of the songs went to #1 and stayed in the charts almost a year.
I was full time from 1995 - 2013 performing over 250 concerts a year.
What makes this incredible, all this happened without a Radio Promoter,
Booking Agent or Record Company.
Now that I'm retired from full-time singing, I'm enjoying my other passion, Antiques. I've been the manager since 2014 for Main Street Market Antique Mall.
I decided to share my music memories of singers I grew up listening to on the radio and some that I had the opportunity to meet personally through my private collection of hundreds of authentic autographs, personal items and clothing once owned by Country Music, Rock n Roll and R&B singers. You can see my private collection at the Music Memories Museum located inside Main Street Market Antique Mall. I thought Swainsboro Georgia would be a great location for the museum because of all the music history it has. I hope on your visit you will find a personal item from your favorite singer that brings back a special memory in your life...
Sincerely, Michael Bright
See a 1999 Harley Davidson once owned by Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers