VIRGINIANS AND THEIR MUSIC                                       PIANO GALLERY

Virginia has produced some of the best music talent in the world.  We honor these artists as we display their music, history, and personal items. See list at the bottom of this page.


The piano gallery displays keyboard instruments dating from 1760, showing the development of the piano.  Our 1790 Joshua Shudi harpsichord is one of two known to exist today.


You will enjoy Laughing Sal and a Wurlitzer band organ along with many other items from amusement parks.    



Watch our Violano Virtuoso play a violin automatically or our KT special play eight instruments together. Our rarest music box came from the founder of the first Smithfield Ham Company.    

 PHONOGRAPHS                                                              ORGANS

 Follow the history of recorded music from  Edison's tin foil machine to his very best opera phonograph. The first talking doll and a phonograph lamp are some of our antique phonograph items.  



Wayne Newton

Bruce Hornsby

The Statler Brothers

Pearl Bailey

Five Keys

Keely Smith

Polk MIller

The Carter Family

Phil Vassar                

Missy Elliott                                          

Patsy Cline

Ruth Brown

Ralph Stanley

Gene Vincent

Dock Boggs

Ernest Stoneman

Kate Smith  

Bill Jenkins        Pharrell Williams    Jimmy Fortune    

Ella Fitzgerald

Roy Clark

June Carter

Steve Earle

Jim & Jesse

Joe Maphis

Mac Wiseman

Ricky Van Shelton

Clarence Clemmons

Charlie Byrd                               

In our organ section, we have a sample of the following organs: a  Reed organ, glass organ, monkey organ, Hammond organ and a self playing pipe organ once used in Norfolk, Virginia. 




Virginians played a big part in the development of music. Polk Miller recorded some of Edison's first records. The first record to sell over a million copies (The Wreck of the Old 97) was written by a Virginian, Henry Whitter. Black Pattie from Suffolk, Virginia was the first African American to sing in Carnegie Hall. The Carter Family pioneered country music recordings. Jazz critics agree that Ella Fitzgerald was the best vocal improviser to ever live. Patsy Cline was the first female solo artist inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Join us to see and learn more about our Virginians.