Sunday, March 2, 2014

"...Nashville Obviously Feels The Need....The Need For Speed....."

Ricky Bobby said it simply and eloquently.

"I wanna go fast."

You want fast?

I got yer fast.

How about Malcolm Campbell?

September 1937.

First person to drive over 300 mph on land.

How about Chuck Yeager?

October 1947.

First person to break the sound barrier in level flight.

How about Miranda Lambert?

May 2014.

(Kimberly Ripley/ WebProNews)

Miranda Lambert has her own exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum–or at least she will starting in May. It was just announced that the singer and husband of The Voice’s Blake Shelton will be featured front and center in the museum. Her exhibit, called “Miranda Lambert: Backstage Access,” will run from May 16th to November 9th and is expected to draw droves of fans.

“The Country Music Hall of Fame is a place to cherish what country music is all about,” Miranda said following the official announcement. “And I’m so honored to have an exhibit in this treasured hall.”

“Miranda Lambert is one of contemporary music’s most popular and acclaimed artists, and for good reason,” said Museum Director Kyle Young. “She’s a dynamic performer; an emotive and powerful vocalist whose voice is equally at home with lyrics tough or tender; and a songwriter with a deft touch for feeling and place.

“Her numerous hits, from empowering anthems like ‘Gunpowder and Lead’ to introspective set pieces like ‘The House That Built Me,’ are rich contributions to country music’s storytelling tradition,” he continued. “We are looking forward to taking our visitors behind the scenes with Miranda during her amazing successes in 2013.”

Miranda Lambert is the reigning four-time CMA and reigning four-time ACM Female Vocalist of the Year. Her most recent album, Four The Record, debuted atop Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, making her the first country artist in the 47-year history of the chart to have each of her first four albums debut in that number one position. Mama’s Broken Heart is just one hit single from that album. You can see her perform it in the music video above. Lambert recently released her new single Automatic, which is the lead track from her upcoming fifth studio album.

Blake Shelton must be incredibly proud of his wife–in general, of course, and now even more so for her upcoming exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

What with the evolution of the country music business, and the particular results of that evolution, in recent years, it gets increasingly more difficult to simply observe and/or comment without, even unintentionally, adding a little "in my day" to the rhetorical recipe.

Be that as it may....

In my day...

The Country Music Hall of Fame, a remarkable and, even, iconic entity honoring and lauding (that's yee-haw-ing to all you long time country fan/purists) what is judged to be what represents the very best in accomplishment in the art of country music.

And, like any museum worth it's salt (or good ol' salted country ham), the Hall of Fame takes particular pride in the exhibits that have, since they first began, detailed and, once again, honored, lauded and yee haw-ed an historic and, again, iconic assortment of country music pioneers.

Among them...

Patsy Cline.

Eddy Arnold.

Hank Williams.

Earl Scruggs.

Ray Price.

Kitty Wells.

Brenda Lee.

Tammy Wynette.

Chet Atkins.



In recent years, though, The CMHOF, like the country music business in general, has begun a not so subtle swinging of the spotlight away from the more iconic, the more pioneering, the more traditional and, instead, has begun to put a big ol' shine on the more contemporary, the more current, the more hip and groovy.

Taylor Swift.

Carrie Underwood.

And now, starting this May....

Miranda Lambert.

Okay, there's no point in trying to kid ourselves that the name of the game here is anything more than "sell tickets".

Just like the name of the game on, for example, Broadway is "putting butts into seats."

Due respect to the genius of Arthur Miller, his playwright ancestors, peers and heirs notwithstanding.

You want art for the sake of appreciating art?

Go Guggenheiming, already.

Want to see the boots Miranda wore on stage during her sold out show last Tuesday in Akron?

Country Music Hall of Fame, starting in May and running through November.

All of this might be regrettable to the hard core, old school country music connoisseur, but some slack does, in fairness, deserve to be cut.

After all, all the "artistic integrity" in the world don't mean horse hockey if there ain't nobody ponying up to take a gander.

Even if the implication is, as it has always been, that the exhibits offered in the HOF are, ostensibly, tributes, honors, lauds (yeee-haws) to those performers, writers, singers who have made foundational contributions to the genre, broken new ground, shattered old stereotypes, innovated new innovations, made, and left, an indelible impression and had an unforgettable impact on the history of country music, an impact that will be felt and respected and revered and remembered for generations and generations to come.

Once, and in the beginning, bet the farm.

Now, not so much.

Because, due respect to any of the current crop, does anyone who knows anything about country music, at its core, honestly think that, say, fifty years from now, the contributions of, say, Miranda Lambert will be viewed with anything coming close to the appreciation, even reverence, that those of, say, Patsy Cline are viewed?

Fifty years after one very country music history changing plane crash?

Many years ago, when Madonna was still a relatively new star, but the reigning, for the moment, queen of the pop charts, she had bestowed upon her, at that year's MTV ceremony, the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The following night, in the course of his Tonight Show monologue, Leno reported on that awarding and added, both in good fun and spot on satire.....

"Wow....that oughta give Ella Fitzgerald somethin' to shoot for...."

Miranda Lambert first came on the RFD radar when she finished third on the talent show "Nashville Star"in  2003.

She started charting with her songs in 2004.

She started her reign as award winning queen of the country charts in 2007.

A little over six years ago.

No question about her success.

And now, starting in May, she will be exhibited and added to the list of the past exhibited like.

Patsy Cline.

Eddy Arnold.

Hank Williams.

Earl Scruggs.

Ray Price.

Kitty Wells.

Brenda Lee.

Tammy Wynette.

Chet Atkins.

Making her not only honored, lauded and yee-haw-ed.

But prescient.

What with having gone from unknown to Country Music Hall of Fame exhibited in less than ten years.

And her 2012 song....

Fastest Girl In Town.

Not to mention giving Ella Fitzgerald one more thing to shoot for.

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