Getty Images and the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum Collaborate to Bring Iconic Country Music Imagery to the World
Unrivaled candid images of legendary country musicians available for license from Getty Images
New York, NY, and Nashville, TN – Tuesday 4 August, 2015 – Getty Images, the world leader in visual communications, is teaming up with the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum to make available for global licensing an unrivaled collection of historic country music images from the museum’s archives. This is the first collaboration of its kind for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, an institution dedicated to preserving and teaching the evolving history of country music.
The museum’s Elmer Williams Collection launches the collaboration, with 3,000 images, most previously unpublished. From 1952 to 1962, Williams was one of the busiest country music photographers in Nashville, using his Busch Pressman 4×5 inch camera to capture candid photos at music industry events and backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. The friendships he developed with the famous country artists of the time enabled Williams to capture unique moments and perspectives, including Johnny Cash in his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry in 1956 and the Everly Brothers in their 1957 Opry debut.
“This remarkable collection preserves iconic moments in country music history, including unseen images of Johnny Cash, Ray Price, Grandpa Jones, Minnie Pearl, Marty Robbins, Kitty Wells, and more,” said Bob Ahern, Director, Archive Photography, at Getty Images. “We are thrilled to partner with the Country Music Hall of Fame to enrich our comprehensive archival image offerings with this exceptional gallery.”
“The Elmer Williams Collection offers a right-place, right-time view into the sweet spot of country music’s classic period from the early ’50s to the early ’60s. The photos were added to the museum’s collection in the 1990s, and we’re excited to finally share these images as part of an ongoing effort to provide access to the unduplicated collection and to fund the museum’s massive archival digitization project,” said museum CEO Kyle Young.
About Elmer Williams (1927–1993)
A restaurant owner, Elmer Williams supplemented his income by taking photographs of accident scenes for insurance companies, eventually branching out to weddings and family portraits. From 1952 to 1962, Williams was one of the busiest country music photographers in Nashville, using his Busch Pressman 4×5 inch camera to take candid photos at music industry gatherings and backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. Williams’s casual, personable approach helped him develop friendships with many country artists, who let their guard down around him. In the early 1960s, Williams realized a lifelong dream to become a police officer, and he left behind his work as a part-time photographer. In the 1990s, more than four thousand historic photographs—many unpublished—were added to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Frist Library and Archive. Williams was one of nine featured photographers in Country: Portraits of an American Sound, the primary exhibition at the Annenberg Space for Photography from May to September 2014. Several of Williams’s photographs were used to promote the exhibit, including candid photos of twelve-year-old Brenda Lee in her first Nashville concert in 1957, of Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two in their first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry in 1956, and of the Everly Brothers in their 1957 Opry debut.
About Getty Images
Getty Images is the world’s leader in visual communication, with over 170 million assets available through its premium content site www.gettyimages.com and its leading stock content site www.istock.com. With its advanced search and image recognition technology, Getty Images serves business customers in more than 100 countries and is the first place creative and media professionals turn to discover, purchase and manage images and other digital content. Its award-winning photographers and content creators help customers produce inspiring work which appears every day in the world’s most influential newspapers, magazines, advertising campaigns, films, television programs, books and online media. Visit Getty Images at www.gettyimages.com to learn more about how the company is advancing the unique role of digital media in communications and business, and enabling creative ideas to come to life. For company news and announcements, visit press.gettyimages.com, and for the stories, innovation and inspiration behind our content, visit Stories & Trends http://stories.gettyimages.com/. Find us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/gettyimages and Twitter at https://twitter.com/GettyImages.
About the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum’s mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture. With the same educational mission, the foundation also operates Historic RCA Studio B, Hatch Show Print®, CMF Records, CMF Press and the museum’s Frist Library and Archive. Museum programs are made possible, in part, by the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and under agreements with the National Endowment for the Arts. More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at www.countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.