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Special Exhibit – Honky Tonk: Portrait of Country Music 1972-1981
January 5 - March 31
In the 1970s, photographer Henry Horenstein shot album covers for upstart bluegrass label Rounder Records. But in his off-hours, he soon became unofficial photographer to the culture of country musicians great and small, and their dedicated fans. It’s a world that looks quite a bit like country songs sound: full of hard-working operators and lonely dreamers, half-full glasses and scorpion belt buckles, and a few tall hats, boots, and bottles as well. It’s the world of the honky tonk.
A candid, affectionate glimpse into the real country music scene as it was performed and lived, Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music, 1972—1981 is a parade through the early years of future great performers like Dolly Parton and Del McCoury, and already established legends like Mother Maybelle Carter and Don Stover. It is a time capsule of an important era in country music set within family music parks and music festivals, the Grand Ole Opry, and Nashville’s Tootsies and other well-loved honky tonks. Horenstein’s lively portraits of the community preserve the scene where musicians and fans, cowboys and townies, converged to step out, strum, and strut their stuff.