Tuesday, June 5, was indeed a star-studded evening in Nashville at the Tennessee State Museum when the Board of the Tennessee State Museum Foundation and Tootsie's Orchid Lounge hosted the invitation-only VIP Opening Preview of Sparkle and Twang: Marty Stuart's American Musical Odyssey. Marty's uniquely American collection of hundreds of artifacts represents more than 40 years of the classic musical greats behind country, rockabilly, bluegrass and Southern gospel. It also illustrates the impact of fashion and music on popular culture as revealed through performance costumes, accessories, hand-written lyrics, personal letters, instruments owned by country music legends, and unpublished photographs. The exhibition embraces the story of Marty's personal experiences with the cornerstones of country music. His lifelong career as an artist, along with his passion for preserving the history behind these indigenous musical art forms, served as the inspiration for Sparkle and Twang.
Marty, in town for his Uncle Roderick Johnson's funeral, told me that attendance at the exhibit's opening was the largest ever recorded at the Museum. "That's no surprise," I responded, so proud of him. Then the Neshoba countian in me added, "Almost as impressive as the fact that the attendance at your show at the Neshoba County Fair in 1993 was second only to that of Ronald Reagan's visit."Among those in Nashville Tuesday night were Butch Hodgins, Betty Seward, Lynn Seward, Myrtle Pearl Richardson, Glenda Edwards, Mack and Janice Eubanks, and Dickie and Barbara Day. The exhibit will be on view through November 11 at the Tennessee State Museum.
By Rachel Evans