Hall Of Fame Honors ‘New Traditionalists’

Curators at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum continue to work on additions to the Museum’s permanent exhibition, Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music. The most recent updates focus on country music’s ‘New Traditionalists,’ including the Judds, Reba McEntire, Ricky Skaggs and George Strait. These changes, which will bring the story of country music forward in time and conclude with a glimpse of the future, will be completed on May 14, 2010.

Museum officials have also announced a weekend of special programs on May 14-15 to celebrate the unveiling of this new visitor experience; highlights will include 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. in the Ford Theater. All programs are included with Museum admission and free to Museum members.

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 the 1980s and the popularity of country music’s “New Traditionalists.’ These artists, many of whom began their careers as the pop-influenced “Urban Cowboy” era in country music was waning, embraced older country styles, such as honky-tonk and bluegrass, adapting them with a modern sensibility. Among the artists featured in this section of the exhibit are:

The Judds. Items newly on display include Wynonna Judd’s Gibson Les Paul electric guitar, custom made for her and featuring “WY2K” inlaid in mother-of-pearl on the fretboard; and the black jersey gown worn by Naomi Judd to the 1990 Academy of Country Music Awards.

Reba McEntire. Visitors will see McEntire’s blue suede gown, featuring fringed-sleeves and sequin and lace embellishments. The singer wore the dress to the 1986 CMA Awards, where she was named Entertainer of the Year. Also on display are a pair of hand-tooled black and white cowboy boots, which bear the intriguing monogram “OY.” The boots, which were modeled after a pair owned by Patsy Cline, were worn by McEntire at her 1977 Grand Ole Opry debut.

Ricky Skaggs. Among the items on display is the mandolin Skaggs played at age seven in 1962 when he appeared with Flatt & Scruggs on their television show.

George Strait. A lasso, cowboy hat, starched shirt, hand-tooled leather belt and Wrangler jeans from the Texas superstar are all on display.

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