Stuart Collection At Rock Hall Of Fame

This appeared in The Tennessean - October 30, 2008

Sparkle & Twang: "Marty Stuart's American Musical Odyssey exhibit of country music memorabilia opens today at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

"It's a terrific exhibit, full of colorful stage outfits, historic instruments and important lyric manuscripts," said Jim Henke, the rock hall's vice president of exhibitions and curatorial affairs. "Its focus is on country music, and country is an important root of rock and roll. Many of theartists represented in the exhibit — Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Pops Staples — are Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees.

"It will broaden our visitors' experience, exposing them to a musical form — country — that they may not be all that familiar with."

Marty was in Cleveland on Wednesday to attend an opening night party and meet with journalists. Also attending the festivities were Marty's wife, Connie Smith, clothing designer Manuel and some staffers of the Tennessee State Museum, including executive director Lois Riggins-Ezell.

"It looks incredible," Marty said from Cleveland. "It's on the top two floors of the Rock Hall. They have just done a marvelous job of laying it out. It makes everybody at home proud."

The exhibit, which runs through March 1, 2009 offers just a tiny taste of Marty's 20,000-piece collection. Sparkle & Twang features 300 artifacts — 22 instruments, 31 performance costumes, 26 pairs of boots, 28 handwritten lyrics and more than 100 photographs. "Johnny Cash's first black suit is a mighty piece," Marty said. "Hank Williams' manuscripts hold up anywhere you take them."

"It's a milestone for me because I've always been a fan of the Rock Hall," Marty said. "I've collaborated with them on several projects. To be able to bring primarily a country music exhibit to the Rock Hall is rewarding for me, and I think it's a victory for country music."

Noting that inductees include Hank Williams, Bill Monroe and Johnny Cash, Marty said, "This is the first time a lot of the artifacts have ever come alongside their plaques."

By Beverly Keel

Return To Articles Return To Home Page