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Today is August 12, 2020

Grammy museum exhibit celebrates women in country music

By Steven Ward

Grammy museum exhibit celebrates women in country music

Both popular and critically acclaimed, young singer-songwriters Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Amanda Shires and Kelsea Ballerini will one day become country music legends.

But the power and talent of women in country music is nothing new. The Carter Family, Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells and Mississippi-born Tammy Wynette are legends today that all played an instrumental role in filling in the pages of the history of country music.

Right now through Dec. 13, the Grammy Museum Mississippi in Cleveland is featuring a historic exhibit — “Stronger Together: The Power of Women in Country Music.” The exhibit is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield Mississippi.

“The exhibit takes visitors on a journey through the history of women in country music, from the early years and post- World War II, to the emergence of Nashville as a country music mecca,” Grammy Museum Mississippi Executive Director Emily Havens said.

“Women have played such an integral role in the development and longevity of country music, and we are thrilled to celebrate some of these trailblazing female artists with our new exhibit,” Havens said.

The exhibit features artifacts from such celebrated female country artists as Maybelle and Sara Carter, Rosanne Cash, Caylee Hammack, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Patsy Montana, Maren Morris, Dolly Parton, Minnie Pearl, Margo Price, Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini and Mississippi natives Faith Hill and LeAnn Rimes.

Some of the artifacts featured are Taylor Swift’s vintage dress worn in her music video for “Mean,” performance outfits from Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild that were worn during the Dolly Parton tribute at the 61st Grammy Awards and Maren Morris’ gown worn on the red carpet at the Grammy Awards.

The exhibit also features photos, handwritten lyrics and instruments donated by the artists.

Singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash lent one of her two Martin OM-28M acoustic guitars to the exhibit.

“I mean I was over the moon when they (the Grammy Museum) asked me to be part of the exhibit. It’s a great honor. And that guitar, my signature Martin, I see it as an extension of me,” Cash told Today in Mississippi. Cash has owned two of the signature guitars since 2008.

Although Cash said she doesn’t think about performers and musicians in terms of their gender, she said the exhibit helps to feature a greater array of great artists and performers to the public.

“I don’t like subgroups. I don’t think of women as a subgroup of country music but it’s always good to draw attention to legitimate musicians.

Cash said she has had younger songwriters reach out to her — including Shires, now a friend — and she did the same when she was first starting out.

“Emmylou (Harris) was a mentor. Just the way she handled herself. I gleaned a lot from Emmylou. She was a great role model for me,” Cash said.

Havens, citing feedback from visitors, said some of the favorite exhibit artifacts include Cash’s guitar and Dolly Parton’s outfits and banjo. Havens said it’s hard for her to pick out her own favorite part of the exhibit.

“The entire exhibit is incredible, but if I had to pick just one, I would pick Faith Hill’s Grammy Award,” Havens said. “It is such an honor to have it displayed in this exhibit.”

 

The exhibit, which began in November, will run through Dec. 13, 2020.

Regular hours:

TUES - SAT: 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM

SUNDAY: 1:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Call 662-441-0100 or visit www.grammymuseummd.org for more information.

The museum is planning to reopen on July 9.

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