LEE GREENWOOD: AMERICAN PATRIOT SPOTLIGHT EXHIBITION TO OPEN AT THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME® AND MUSEUM

LEE GREENWOOD: AMERICAN PATRIOT SPOTLIGHT EXHIBITION
TO OPEN AT THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME® AND MUSEUM

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 11, 2013) –  The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will unveil a special spotlight exhibit dedicated to singer Lee Greenwood on May 10. Lee Greenwood: American Patriot,
which will be located within the museum’s permanent exhibit on the
third floor, will incorporate costumes and other artifacts spanning
Greenwood’s 50 years of musical activity. The exhibition will run
through April 25, 2014.

Lee Greenwood: American Patriot traces the artist’s
personal and professional life from his musical childhood in California
to his award-winning music career. The exhibit also places a special
focus on Greenwood’s most beloved song, “God Bless the USA,” and his
work with military and veterans organizations.

Melvin Lee Greenwood was born October 27, 1942, and raised by his
grandparents on their farm near Sacramento, California. He learned to
play piano and saxophone as a child and quickly became a skilled
entertainer. By the time he graduated from high school, Greenwood had
learned to play most of the instruments in the school band.

In the early 1960s, Greenwood began working the Nevada casino
lounge circuit. In 1979, Larry McFadden, Mel Tillis’s bandleader, heard
Greenwood perform. McFadden arranged for Greenwood to record some demo
sessions in Nashville, and that break led to Greenwood’s recording
contract with MCA Records in 1981 and his work with producer Jerry
Crutchfield.

Greenwood scored 20 Top Ten hits between 1983 and 1990. Among them
were the chart-toppers “Somebody’s Gonna Love You,” “Going, Going, Gone”
and “Dixie Road.” He has earned numerous industry awards, including
Male Vocalist of the Year for the Academy of Country Music (1983), Male
Vocalist of the Year from the Country Music Association (1983 and 1984)
and a Grammy for Top Male Vocal Performance in 1985 for “I.O.U.” He also
took home the 1985 CMA Song of the Year award for “God Bless the USA.”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of “God Bless the USA.”
 Composed in 1983, it became a Top Ten country hit for Greenwood in
1984. The tune is one of America’s most popular and recognizable
patriotic songs, thanks, in part, to its popularity during the 1991
Persian Gulf War and during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks on America. For his patriotic songs and his work with
the armed forces, including more than 30 USO tours, Greenwood has been
honored with the prestigious National Patriot’s Award, presented by the
Congressional Medal of Honor Society. In November 2008, President George
W. Bush appointed Greenwood to a six-year term as a council member on
the National Endowment for the Arts.

In the mid-1990s, Greenwood began performing almost daily at the
Lee Greenwood Theater in Sevierville, Tennessee. The residency lasted
five years. Since then, he continues to tour, record and write new
material. His latest EP, I Want to Be in Your World, was released in 2011 for Tate Music Group. He also devotes substantial time to numerous charitable causes.

            Among the artifacts on display in Lee Greenwood: American Patriot are:

  • Awards presented to Greenwood from United States military units and veterans groups
  • Stage
    wear, including a red, white and blue American-flag-design leather
    jacket, and a fringed leather jacket with Native American beadwork
  • Letter from President George H.W. Bush, thanking Greenwood for participating in Bush’s 1989 Inaugural ceremony.
  • Greenwood’s Henri Selmer Paris saxophone, made in France
  • Greenwood’s Grammy, CMA and ACM awards
  • Greenwood’s
    honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Cumberland University and his
    honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Lincoln Memorial
    University

Spotlight exhibits are narratives that supplement themes or aspects of the museum’s core exhibition, Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music.
These short-term, informal displays either provide a closer look at a
particular person, group or aspect of country music, or spotlight
recently donated items or special anniversaries. Rotated often,
spotlight exhibits also offer a glimpse into the museum’s unique
collection, which includes recorded discs, historical photographs, films
and videotapes; thousands of posters, books, songbooks, periodicals and
sheet music; personal artifacts such as performers’ instruments,
costumes and accessories; and more.

Other current spotlight exhibits focus on ABC’s Nashville, Garth Brooks, Jack Greene, Minnie Pearl, Hargus “Pig” Robbins, Connie Smith and Dottie West.
           
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame®
and 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’s mission is the preservation of the
history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern
culture. With the same educational mission, the foundation also operates
CMF Records, the museum’s Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press,
Historic RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print
®.

More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.

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