Country Hall of Fame Readies New Major Exhibit, “Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s”

Yes, Yes, and Yes!

On Thursday (1-11), the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville announced their newest major exhibit to open on May 25th, 2018. Not just part of the regular rotation of smaller exhibits, the major exhibit creates the cornerstone for the museum’s focus for the next few years, and will include performances, panels, and other events to coincide with the exhibit.

Replacing the current major exhibit, Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats will be Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s, covering not just the Outlaw country movement in the 70’s but also the Austin and the Texas component to the historic and influential country music movement. The exhibit is said to “explore a Golden Age of country music—a rowdy flowering that took place in Texas and Tennessee, and provided classic songs, and unforgettable personalities,” and will include one of the largest assemblages of Outlaw country artifacts, memorabilia, and information to ever be compiled.

“The smooth Nashville sound of the 1950’s and 60’s proved to be commercially viable, and musically notable,” says the introductory video. “But the social upheaval that formed the backdrop of the museum’s outgoing exhibit—Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats—continued in America, and music makers responded. Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Bobby Bare, Chris Gantry, Shel Silverstein, and David Allan Coe were bulls running in Music Row’s China shop, straining always for more creative control.”

Not just about Willie and Waylon, like the Hall of Fame and Museum did with their previous major exhibits on the Hank Williams legacy and the Bakersfield Sound, the exhibit will also focus on many of the unheralded artists and events that led to the formidable impact the Outlaw era had.

“As the shifting ground and new blood began to change the Nashville scene in the 1960’s and 70’s, art and music flourished in the Texas capital of Austin,” says the Hall of Fame. “In Austin, Willie found a music scene rife with freaks, jocks, rednecks, and hippies, all eager to hear his free-flowing brand of country music. Back in Nashville, Waylon Jennings and Bobby Bare fought and won their creative freedom, arresting control of their own sound and style.”

For Outlaw country fans, this is similar to the release of a new Star Wars trilogy, and May 25th can’t get here soon enough. At the moment, the exhibit is set to end on Feb. 14, 2021. More details on the exhibit as they become available.