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Johnny Cash, Gene Watson receive hall of fame treatment

Monday, September 22, 2008 – Johnny Cash and Gene Watson will receive a special spotlight exhibit in the next few weeks at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. On Tuesday, Sept 30, "Johnny Cash: Man in Black" will open with "Gene Watson: Fourteen Carat Voice" begin Oct. 7. Both exhibits will run through spring 2009.

In Cash's 1971 hit Man in Black, Cash claimed he wore black to symbolize compassion for "the poor and the beaten down ... the prisoner ... the sick and lonely old." With stage costumes and personal items on display, Johnny Cash: Man in Black examines Cash's understated style in an otherwise rhinestone-studded era of country couture.

"There was a certain complexity behind Johnny Cash's simple, black-clad image," said Mick Buck, the museum's curator of collections. "The items on display echo Cash's rebellious spirit and political awareness, and more importantly, his transcendent ability to connect with people."

Exhibit items include
a black gabardine suit with chain-stitched blue stars and brass buttons, designed by Nudie's Rodeo Tailors. Cash performed in the suit in his 1977 televised Christmas special.
a black leather duster, designed by western couturier Manuel Cuevas.
a leather briefcase, bearing Cash's initials, "JRC." Cash traded the briefcase to musician Marty Stuart for Stuart's black briefcase in the early 1980s.

"Gene Watson: Fourteen Carat Voice" explores Watson's career as a soulful vocalist rooted in the classic country tradition, beginning with his steamy 1975 hit Love in the Hot Afternoon. In the exhibit, Watson's musical consistency is juxtaposed with his wardrobe's evolution. Stage costumes on display trace his 1970s clean-cut persona and attention-grabbing stage wear to a more relaxed look through the 1980s.

Watson scored a string of honky-tonk-styled hits throughout the late '70s and into the '80s that included Farewell Party, Fourteen Carat Mind and Memories to Burn.. Since winning his battle with cancer in 2001, Watson continues to showcase his smooth, clear tenor voice on albums such as "In a Perfect World" (2007).

Artifacts in the exhibit include:
a 1970s green suit with rhinestones and musical-note embroidery, designed by Nudie's Rodeo Tailors.
a suede cowboy hat with decorative pins.
a floral-print western shirt from the early 1980s.

Other current spotlight exhibits focus on Big & Rich, George Strait and Porter Wagoner.

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Koncert v Praze (In Prague-Live) CD review - Koncert v Praze (In Prague-Live)
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Man In Black: Live in Denmark 1971 CD review - Man In Black: Live in Denmark 1971
Like many icons who have since departed the planet, Johnny Cash left behind a legacy that continues to flourish - in the songs he left behind, in their interpretation by others and in the man's own recordings, which still sound as fresh and vital as they were when first released. This vintage concert offers a case in point. Recorded at the peak of his prowess, it finds him replaying his classic hits - "A Boy Named Sue," "Folsom Prison Blues," "I Walk the Line" »»»
Out Among the Stars CD review - Out Among the Stars
One would think that with all the archival music, reissues and postmortem tributes released on Johnny Cash's behalf, the vaults would have been scraped pretty clean by now, with only scraps left for dedicated completists to feast upon. So it comes as no small surprise to find that the Cash archivists actually uncovered some entire sessions that haven't been unearthed until now. Recorded in the early '80s, "Out Among The Stars" is such a high quality collection that it »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: LSD tour provides a lot of highs – This was not your grandkids' country, that's for sure. Even the name of the tour - the LSD Tour - was a throwback (albeit far before the principals were making music). But make no mistake about it. With the ever cool country traditionalist Dwight Yoakam, the country with some rock and blues and rabble rousing of Steve Earle thrown in and the... »»»
Concert Review: Alvin, Gilmore fortunately get together – Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore had known each other for decades, but it wasn't until last year that they toured together in a guitar pull setting. What started as a small Texas tour mushroomed into points east and west and eventually the release earlier this month of their blues-based disc, "Downey to Lubbock." And now we have the... »»»
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