Many temporary exhibits at the Country Music Hall of Fame come and go (the Florida Georgia Line one can’t go fast enough). But every three years or so, a major new exhibit is installed that dives deep into a country music era or influence. The current major exhibit is called Outlaws and Armadillos and focuses on the Outlaw era in country music in the mid-70s, as well as the connection of Austin, TX and Armadillo’s world headquarters. A few years ago, the Hall of Fame also took a look at the Bakersfield Sound from California.
The next major exhibit will also delve into California’s influence in the country, just later in the timeline. Called Western Edge: Roots and Reverbs of LA Country Rock, it will span the 1960s through the 1980s and begin with the original pioneers who first took country influences and infused them with rock such as The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Poco, Emmylou Harris, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Linda Ronstadt, and possibly The Eagles. It will also focus on early West Coast bluegrass bands such as The Dillards and the Kentucky Colonels.
The exhibit will also feature artists drawn in part from the West Coast punk scene, though they themselves were almost exclusively country, as well as Hispanic-influenced artists. This will include artists such as Rosie Flores, Los Lobos, The Blasters, Lone Justice, Dwight Yoakam, and more. Although “Los Angeles” is in the name of the show, it’s important to point out that many of the artists who influenced country rock were from the South, including Dwight Yoakam and Gram Parsons. They just found more fertile ground for their version of country music on the West Coast, and were often more country than some or most of the artists coming out of Nashville during the Countrypolitan era.
“A new hybrid sound has grown from humble beginnings in a few small LA nightclubs and has quickly become one of the most popular musical styles around the world,” says Country Music Hall of Fame CEO Kyle Young. “Inspired by Bob Dylan and the Beatles, these artists and musicians also found community in their appreciation of traditional country, folk and bluegrass music. They built on this foundation, creating songs of unusual lyrical depth and layered musical richness, adding new textures to rock sounds that resulted in a completely original form of American music.
Similar to how the Hall of Fame’s previous major exhibit focused on the importance of a place to the movement (Armadillo’s global headquarters in Austin), this new exhibit will also target The Troubadour in West Hollywood, which housed so many performances. pioneers of country rock, especially at the start of their career. The new exhibit was announced during a double press conference and performance broadcast from The Troubadour, with Dwight Yoakam and Chris Hillman performing, while others spoke from the Hall of Fame’s Ford Theater. Nashville.
Another venue of vital importance to the country rock era was the Palomino Club. Although he’s no longer around to associate, he may be just as important to country music in Los Angeles as The Troubadour. None of the press materials or statements mention The Palomino in the Hall of Fame announcement, but Saving Country Music has confirmed that The Palomino Club will also be part of the exhibit and is specifically referenced in some of the over 40 hours of Hall of Fame interviews conducted for the exhibit.
We also see no mention of The Grateful Dead, who may not have been as commercially successful at the time as Buffalo Springfield or The Eagles, they are arguably just as influential, if not more so, with the legacy from The Dead still grows stronger today thanks in part to the continued resonance of country albums such as The worker is dead and american beauty.
Inaugurated on September 30, the new exhibition will be accompanied by a concert featuring Dave Alvin (the Blasters, the Knitters), Alison Brown (a tribute to Californian bluegrass), Rodney Dillard (the Dillards), Rosie Flores, Richie Furay ( Buffalo Springfield, Poco), Jeff Hanna (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Chris Hillman (The Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Desert Rose Band), Bernie Leadon (Hearts & Flowers, Flying Burrito Brothers, The Eagles), John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Wendy Moten (in tribute to Linda Ronstadt) and Herb Pedersen (Desert Rose Band and instrumentalist for Linda Ronstadt, Gram Parsons and many others).