For the second consecutive year, the Country Music Hall Fame and Museum has announced its complete slate exhibitions for the upcoming year. The 2018 schedule includes exhibits featuring Little Big Town, Ralph Stanley, the Judds and Emmylou Harris.
“For over 50 years, the museum has shared with its visitors the rich and diverse history country music, while documenting the music’s ongoing evolution. Our 2018 exhibits continue that tradition,” states museum CEO Kyle Young. “Next year we will look at a variety subjects, including the career a legendary Country Music Hall Fame member who has been embraced by the Americana movement, and the life an iconic mountain musician who influenced her. As we examine the legacies these country music greats, we will also look at some the most awarded talent today.”
In addition to examining the stories individual artists, the museum will unveil the exhibition American Currents: The Music 2017, on March 9th. The exhibit will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the major country music happenings in the prior year. Highlights 2017 will be represented by artifacts from Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Maren Morris, Randy Travis and Chris Young with more to be announced.
“Being able to have a little piece me and what we have accomplished in the last two years showcased in the American Currents exhibit is a dream come true,” says Luke Combs. “As ten as I have toured the Country Music Hall Fame and Museum with family and friends that come to Nashville, I have ten day dreamed about having my stuff here, and now with such a great program, that dream is now a reality.”
On June 29th, the museum will open a special exhibit on Grammy and American Music Award-winning group Little Big Town, the vocal quartet made up Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook. Twenty years after forming, Little Big Town are consistent award winners, earning platinum certifications for their albums Pain Killer, Tornado and The Road to Here. In 2017, they notched a sixth consecutive CMA Award win for Vocal Group the Year and won their fourth ACM Award for Vocal Group the Year. They also brought their dynamic performance values and crystalline vocal harmonies to multiple concerts at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium in a year-long, sold-out residency there.
“Having an exhibit at the Country Music Hall Fame and Museum is something we wouldn’t have ever known to dream for ourselves, it is beyond a dream come true,” claims Little Big Town’s Fairchild. “We are honored to be a part Country music, and are so thankful to all our fans, the music community here in Nashville and the museum for this opportunity.”
July 13th brings an exhibit devoted to legendary mountain musician Ralph Stanley, whose rendition “O Death,” from the O Brother, Where Art Thou? film soundtrack captured the 2001 Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal. After twenty years as half legendary bluegrass duo the Stanley Brothers, Stanley began a solo career in 1966 following the death brother Carter Stanley. Stanley’s unique style and distinctive tenor broke new ground in bluegrass, and he became a standard-bearer for country music’s Appalachian folk roots.
“This is a special moment for me personally and the entire family,” recalls Ralph Stanley II. “Dad has been such an influence on me as an artist, but also on countless other country music stars today. Growing up by his side and getting to witness the impact he has had is something that I cherish more than words. It really comes to life now that he is going to be highlighted in the Country Music Hall Fame and Museum, which he highly respected. I am beyond grateful to see this exhibit coming to life in 2018.”
Another new exhibit will explore the lives and careers Grammy-winning mother-daughter duo the Judds opening August 3rd. Wynonna and Naomi Judd brought a fresh acoustic sound to country music, with unmistakable harmonies surrounding Wynonna’s powerful lead vocals. The Judds dominated the country charts during the 1980s and ’90s, and have sold more than 20 million albums and registered 20 Top Ten hits. Although the Judds dissolved in 1991 following Naomi’s hepatitis diagnosis, the duo have reunited for special tours and performances. Wynonna has achieved great success as a solo artist.
“I am truly humbled and grateful to partner with the Country Music Hall Fame and Museum to honor the Judds legacy and relive some the special moments we shared with our fans. What an honor,” states Wynonna.
“The Country Music Hall Fame and Museum is sacred ground regarded with reverence and respect. I am so overjoyed to have the Judds career encapsulated in this new exhibit, “shares Naomi. “I’m so proud all the success Wynonna has accomplished and we owe everything to the fans who welcomed the Judds music into their homes.”
Finally, 12-time Grammy winner and Country Music Hall Fame member Emmylou Harris will be the subject a major exhibition opening October 5th. From her start with Gram Parsons in California during the early 1970s to her acceptance in Nashville and mainstream country music in the 1980s, Harris has brought millions new listeners to country music. Over 40 years into a remarkable career, she has amassed twenty-seven Top Ten hits, including seven that reached No. 1. She also has placed fourteen albums in the Top Ten the Billboard country album chart.
“From my first album release in 1975, country music has embraced me with open arms. This exhibit at the Hall Fame makes me realize once more how grateful and honored I am to be part such a remarkable musical family,” claims Harris.
A champion songwriters and musicians alike, Harris gave early career boosts to Rodney Crowell, Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush and Buddy Miller. Countless country singers cite Harris as an influence, including Suzy Bogguss, Mary Chapin Carpenter, the Dixie Chicks, Patty Loveless and Trisha Yearwood. Harris’s influence extends beyond country music, too, with acclaimed artists Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams and many others citing her as an artistic guidepost. Examining Harris through her music and her collection personal artifacts will provide new insight into one country music’s most important and visionary artists.
The museum’s successful major exhibition Dylan, Cash and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City closes in February 2018. An announcement is forthcoming about the next major exhibition to be mounted at the museum.