Nashville Portraits

Legends of Country Music

By Jim McGuire (Photographer); William Ferris (Introduction by)
(Lyons Press, Hardcover, 9781599211688, 160pp.)

Publication Date: November 2007

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Jim McGuire has been the foremost music-industry photographer in Nashville for more than thirty years, as renowned for his love of music and musicians, wry wit, and 1947 Ford station wagon as he is for his skill with a camera. Most of the big recording stars have visited his studio: Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Doc Watson, Dolly Parton, Carole King, Townes Van Zandt, John Hartford, Emmylou Harris, and Kris Kristofferson, to name just a few.
"Nashville Portraits," a landmark project, is an expanded book version of an extraordinary traveling exhibition organized by the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia. The show brings together sixty portraits; the book includes five additional photos, an essay by folklorist and historian William R. Ferris, and insightful biographies and quotations about each artist's personality, style, and contributions to the music scene. The text enhances our enjoyment of McGuire's radiant images, reproduced here in beautiful duotone.
Unlike any other book on country music, Nashville Portraits succeeds in presenting a true visual celebration of the beloved Nashville sound.

About the Author

Jim McGuire has been taking photographs of musicians since 1972. His images have graced the covers of more than five hundred albums and CDs. He lives and maintains a studio in Nashville, Tennesee.


William R. Ferris is senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture and frequently writes and lectures on music.


The Morris Museum of Art, located on the Riverwalk in downtown Augusta, is home to a broad-based survey collection of Southern art. As a museum dedicated to exhibiting and exploring the art and artists of the South, the Morris is preserving and enhancing a cultural legacy. The museum is housed in the Augusta Riverfront Center, a unique adaptation of office space to a museum setting.
The museum was established by William S. Morris III, chairman and CEO of Morris Communications Corporation, headquartered in Augusta. Dedicated to the memory of his parents, William Shivers Morris Jr. and Florence Alden Hill Morris Rickenbacker, the museum opened to the public in September of 1992.

Praise For Nashville Portraits

“This book is a treasure--McGuire's pictures do everything except burst into song.” 

Mark Knopfler

“You can almost hear these pictures, can’t you?”

Roy Blount Jr.


“One of the best photographic shows you will ever see. . . . This is great stuff. See if, if you possibly can.”

Chet Flippo

CMT/ Editorial Director



“At first glance, there seems to be something very quiet and pensive about his black and white images. That’s the way it has always been with McGuire’s work.

“Yet, as we peer at them, we begin to hear the faint melodies of lives well lived. They are what McGuire has always done best. With his passion for music and for the musician, he makes these men and women come alive before us. And in that silence, they begin to sing and play for us again.”

Robert Hicks

Author of The Widow of the South



“Looking at McGuire’s portraits, we’re able to grasp some essence of their creativity, to feel the mark that each has left on the city, and on musical history.”

Jonathan Marx

The Tennessean

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