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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: Lambert refuses to rest on laurels – Watching this stop on Miranda Lambert's "Livin' Like Hippies Tour," one is struck by just how many great songs the country singer/songwriter already has in her repertoire. With most artists, it's relatively easy to guess which song a performer will choose to close a show. But Lambert has so many winners to pick from, many... »»»
Concert Review: DBT rocks on – Drive-By Truckers still sometimes get miscategorized as alt.-country, but who's kidding whom? With three electric guitarists upfront exchanging hard rock licks all night, this is a blistering Southern rock band. Hitting the stage just before 10, the band played a satisfying 2-hour-plus set. At 11:40, Patterson Hood announced the band would be... »»»
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