The Country Music Hall of Fame presented its second All For The Hall Los Angeles fundraiser on Sept 23. The sold out event at Club Nokia featured a diverse group of artists ranging from young Taylor Swift to legendary singer-songwriters such as Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, Lionel Richie and Vince Gill. Performances lasted over two hours and included classic hits plus new songs. At one point Ms. Swift explained that that she and a band member recently came up with a definition of country music as, “It’s when someone writes a song about their life from an authentic place.” The other writers on stage agreed as they each got to perform four songs.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Executive Director Kyle Young announced to the crowd that the museum’s next feature exhibit, scheduled to open in 2012 would feature West Coast country music. “The exhibit will draw on our massive, one-of-a-kind archives and the mountain of material we’ve collected over the years from California sources,” Young said. “Driven by the upcoming exhibit, we will turn our attention to greatly expanding our collection of West Coast artifacts so we can fully detail the richly layered narrative of this state’s musical past and present.”
Lionel Richie, currently working with producer Tony Brown recording an album of duets with country stars, commented about how musical genres can interconnect. “When I started writing songs, I didn’t know there were categories,” Richie said. “I just thought you go after Elvis Presley and Jackie Wilson and try to do something great like that.”
Vince Gill told the Los Angeles crowd, “We in Nashville believe great songs are great songs. It doesn’t matter if it gets called a pop song, an R&B song, or a country song. A great song is just that: a great song.”
Photos by Alex J. Berliner