Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Announces New Exhibition
While “outlaw” country has always had a strong following, in recent years the Americana and roots communities have seen a resurgence of interest in the music of artists like Waylon Jennings, Guy Clark, and Townes Van Zandt, as evinced by the countless young upstarts citing such artists as major influences. It seems especially timely, then, that Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum would unveil plans for a new exhibition celebrating this beloved part of country music history.
As announced late last week, “Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s” will open at the Hall of Fame on May 25. The new exhibition, slated to be featured at the museum until February 2021, will feature a number of artifacts and educational materials that explore the deep roots of 1970s country music and its home cities of Nashville, TN and Austin, TX. The museum will release a companion book and CD/LP set in tandem with the exhibition.
“This was an era in which renegades Bobby Bare, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson fought for and won creative control of their own songs and sounds,” CMHoF CEO Kyle Young said in a statement announcing the exhibit. “It was a time when melodic poets Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt and Billy Joe Shaver elevated public perception of what a country song could be. It was a time when the Austin, Texas, music and arts scenes blossomed, and when characters like singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker, Hondo Crouch (who bought his own town, Luckenbach, Texas), armadillo art specialist Jim Franklin and University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal changed Lone Star culture. At the time, some of these things seemed unusual, even insane. Now, they all seem essential to any understanding of this great American art form, country music.”
The museum’s current exhibition, “Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City,” will close on February 18.