NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 11, 2010 - Curators at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum are nearing completion on additions to the Museum's permanent exhibition, Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music. The most recent updates focus on contemporary artists including Jamey Johnson, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. These changes, which bring the story of country music forward in time, will be completed on May 14, 2010.
The Sing Me Back Home transformation, which is taking place in the Museum's second floor gallery, includes new archival video clips and dozens of new artifacts. The most recent updates focus on country music in the new millennium and examine the contributions of contemporary country music stars. Among the artists featured in this section of the exhibit are:
The Museum will celebrate the completion of these updates with several special programs on May 14-15, including a curators' talk on May 14 and an interview with artist Naomi Judd and record executive Joe Galante on May 15 at 1:30 p.m. All programs are included with Museum admission and free to Museum members.
As announced last December, revisions to Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music will focus on country music's last five decades; themes will include country's collision with mainstream American culture from roughly 1965 to 1971; the new directions of the l970s including country-rock, pop-country, the rise of southern rock and the renaissance of full-strength classic country; and the 1980s contrast between the fashionable "Urban Cowboy" craze and the enduring values of a new generation of major stars like the Judds, Reba McEntire, Ricky Skaggs and George Strait.
The chronological narrative will be punctuated in the second floor gallery's theater, where the broader topic of songs inspired by topical events and social and political issues will be explored using video clips such as Merle Haggard's "Okie from Muskogee," Loretta Lynn's "The Pill," Martina McBride's "Independence Day" and Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)."
On the other side of the theater, the story will resume with the mid-1980s arrival of young artists like Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Randy Travis and Dwight Yoakam, and the boom years of the 1990s, when the likes of Garth Brooks, Faith Hill and Alan Jackson ruled the charts and dominated the airwaves.
The story will enter the new millennium with new exhibit cases and video screens that reflect the face of country music in the years since the Museum's expanded and modernized facility opened in downtown Nashville's Sobro District in 200l. One case will focus on the contributions of hitmakers like Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. Another new case will celebrate contemporary bluegrass and Americana artists, ranging from Del McCoury to Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller.
The last of the new cases will be reserved for artifacts and videos that reflect contemporary country's latest trends, events and artists. "This gives us the opportunity to collect and preserve country music history as it is being made," Museum Director Kyle Young said. "It will also function to remind some of our younger visitors that their favorite contemporary artists are linked to the sumptuous and vivid history of country music. This revamping of existing exhibit cases and the addition of new exhibits, media, text, graphics and accompanying programs will mean an entirely new experience for our visitors."
Museum programs are made possible, in part, by grants from the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and by an agreement between the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Accredited by the American Association 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 CMF Records, the Museum's Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press, Historic RCA Studio B, and Hatch Show Print®.
More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at www.countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.