NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Country Music Hall of Famer, Grand Ole Opry member and songwriting titan, Bill Anderson, will be celebrated in a new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2020, aimed at entertaining and enlightening country music audiences and interpreting the ever-evolving story of the music and the people who make it.
On Nov. 20, 2020, the museum will open a special exhibition looking at the life of Anderson. Known for his breathy, conversational vocal style, “Whisperin’ Bill” Anderson has logged 37 Top Ten hits as a recording artist. Anderson has earned more than 50 BMI awards for songwriting. His first success came in 1958, when he wrote “City Lights,” a #1 single for Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Price. Anderson’s songs have been recorded by James Brown, Kenny Chesney, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dean Martin, and hundreds of others, among them Hall of Fame members the Louvin Brothers, Roger Miller, Jim Reeves, Connie Smith, George Strait, Porter Wagoner and Kitty Wells. In 2005, Anderson and Jon Randall Stewart wrote “Whiskey Lullaby,” recorded by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss. It was CMA Song of the Year, and in 2007, Anderson won the CMA and ACM Song of the Year awards for “Give It Away,” written with Buddy Cannon and Jamey Johnson and recorded by Strait. A Grand Ole Opry member since 1961, Anderson entered the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1975, the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2002 and the New York-based Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018.
“I grew up dreaming of the day they’d put my ball glove into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, but realized many years ago that wasn’t going to happen. But now, knowing that my guitar and maybe a rhinestone suit or two will be put into an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, more than makes up for it. When our Hall does an exhibit, they really do it up right. I am thrilled to know that I am about to be a small part of their incredible legacy,” Anderson shared.
The annual exhibition American Currents: State of the Music will return in 2020, to offer insight into the latest chapter of country’s ongoing evolution as a popular art form. In addition, the museum will devote separate exhibits to the lives and careers of award-winning powerhouse vocalist Martina McBride and roots-embracing Kentucky native Chris Stapleton and as previously mentioned, Bill Anderson.
“Each of these artists achieved country music stardom in a different era, and each has a compelling story to tell about early exposure to music, about the decision to pursue music as a career and about the struggle to overcome the challenges created by such a decision,” said Museum CEO Kyle Young.
“In 2020, we will offer our visitors insight into the life of a Country Music Hall of Fame member who has been writing hits for more than 60 years; a magnificent singer who owns four CMA Female Vocalist of the Year awards; and a singer-songwriter who made his way from small clubs to sold-out arenas and four CMA Male Vocalist of the Year awards.”
Now an annual offering, American Currents: State of the Music will open March 6, 2020. The exhibition represents the ongoing research, analysis, vigorous debate, and yes, even argument, among curators and museum staff to determine the most important developments in country music over the previous year.
The Chris Stapleton exhibition will open June 26, 2020. Before he achieved solo success with the 2015 release of triple-platinum album Traveller and the hits “Tennessee Whiskey” and “Parachute,” Stapleton proved his musical mettle as a songwriter, with more than 150 songs recorded by a diverse roster of artists including Adele, Luke Bryan, Alison Krauss and George Strait. This exhibit will explore Stapleton’s personal and musical influences and his climb to stardom, including his time in the SteelDrivers.
“I’m proud to get to share pieces of our musical journey at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum,” said Stapleton.
An exhibit exploring Martina McBride’s legacy opens Aug. 21, 2020. For more than 25 years, McBride – known for hits including “Independence Day” and “A Broken Wing” – has ranked as one of country music’s most powerful voices. The Kansas native released her major label debut in 1992, and had her first Top Ten single in 1993 with “My Baby Loves Me.” Inspired by forerunners such as Linda Ronstadt and Country Music Hall of Fame members Reba McEntire and Connie Smith, McBride brought a powerful voice and style that set her apart from her peers. In 2019, the Academy of Country Music presented her with the Cliffie Stone Icon Award for her contributions to country music.
“Having an exhibit in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is something I’ve had on my dream list for a long, long time,” said McBride. “Being able to share moments and mementos from my life and career with my fans and country music fans from all over the world is both humbling and exciting. I’m so grateful to be a part of country music.”
The museum’s continuing exhibition Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ‘70s, looks at the relationship between Austin, Texas, and Nashville during the 1970s, an era of freewheeling cultural and artistic exchange that skirted the status quo and changed country music. The exhibition opened in May 2018 and continues through Feb. 14, 2021.
Suggested Tweet: 2020 @countrymusichof exhibits to feature @ChrisStapleton, @martinamcbride and @WhisperinBill
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum contact:
Kelly McGlumphy 615.416.2024 email@example.com
ABOUT BILL ANDERSON:
Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry titan Bill Anderson is the rare songwriter whose first major label cut went to No. 1 on the charts, was named Song of The Year and sparked a writing career that is currently in its seventh decade. The song, “City Lights,” was written when Anderson was a 19-year old Georgia disc jockey and became a career-defining hit for Ray Price in 1958. The song opened doors for him in Nashville, leading him to signing with BMI and Tree Publishing. Anderson was far from a one-hit wonder. He followed “City Lights” with country standards like “Tips Of My Fingers,” the GRAMMY-nominated “Once A Day,” “Saginaw, Michigan,” “That’s What It’s Like To Be Lonesome,” “I Missed Me,” “Cold Hard Facts Of Life,” which earned him another GRAMMY nomination, “Mama Sang A Song,” the crossover smash, “Still,” and countless others. He was voted country Songwriter of the Year six times during his first decade in Music City. His success continued into the 1970’s with award-winning hits like “Slippin’ Away,” “The Lord Knows I’m Drinking,” “I May Never Get To Heaven,” and the disco-flavored, “I Can’t Wait Any Longer.” The 1980’s saw Anderson’s chart-topping career take a hiatus as he became a TV network game show host, spokesman for a national restaurant chain and a nonstop touring Grand Ole Opry performer. In the 1990’s he came roaring back with a vengeance, however, as he seriously turned to co-writing for the first time. Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001, his collaborations with the newer generation of Nashville tunesmiths resulted in hits like “Wish You Were Here,” the GRAMMY-nominated “Two Teardrops,” “A Lot Of Things Different,” for Kenny Chesney, “Which Bridge To Cross (Which Bridge To Burn),” for Vince Gill and two CMA Song Of The Year trophies for “Whiskey Lullaby,” with Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss and George Strait’s “Give It Away,” in 2005 and 2007 respectfully. He continues to write today with songs like Brad Paisley’s “Dying To See Her.” For more information, visit BillAnderson.com.
ABOUT THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM:
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum collects, preserves, and interprets country music and its history for the education and entertainment of diverse audiences. In exhibits, publications, and educational programs, the museum explores the cultural importance and enduring beauty of the art form. The museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and welcomes over one million patrons each year, placing it among the most visited museums in the U.S. The Country Music Foundation operates Historic RCA Studio B®, Hatch Show Print® poster shop, CMF Records, the Frist Library and Archive, and CMF Press. Museum programs are supported in part by the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and Tennessee Arts Commission