Monday, September 26, 2011

Vince Gill's All for the Hall Fundraising Efforts in LA for Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Country music star Vince Gill who was recently re- elected President of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville for the 10th consecutive year and brought his All for the Hall guitar pull fundraiser on September 13, 2011 to Club Nokia for the second year in a row. The purpose of this fundraising effort is to support ongoing programming at the Nashville cultural facility to help preserve the legacy of this vital form of American music so that future shows such as the Bakersfield Sound opening in March 2012 (narrated by Dwight Yoakim) are possible. For now enjoy  my Dwight Yoakim Grammy Museum picture set and I also saw Dwight in a dynamite performance at Stagecoach 2008; so seeing this exhibit will be reason enough to visit Nashville again. In addition, executives from the Country Music Hall of Fame had a chance to tell the audience of their $75 million capital campaign to significantly enlarge the museum and to add major performance space. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville is already reason enough for a visit; but this expansion of the museum and addition of a music venue will make it the premiere music museum in the USA if not the world.

I found it an interesting contrast that Vince Gill was raising funds for Nashville from Los Angeles Country music stakeholders, and thus I asked him what he thought of the adjoining Grammy Museum. His response was that on his last concert date in Los Angeles, he had a chance to visit the Grammy Museum, but he wished he had more time, and wants to visit again. My suggestion to the Grammy Museum is next time Vince is in LA, he can do one of the intimate interviews in the Grammy Museum auditorium and talk about what he is doing to preserve the legacy of Country music.

The draw for this dinner at Club Nokia was the guitar pull featuring Vince Gill, Emmy Lou Harris, Zac Brown, Sheryl Crow, and special guest Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon). Each artist got to select an opening song, and then the other artists joined in. Vince after remarking that he met Emmy Lou Harris a long time ago when he played at the Troubadour in LA, opened with a song celebrating the legacy of George Jones, followed by Sheryl Crow who remarked that she had her first beer at age 14 while listening to REO Speedwagon. Zac Brown's opening song was one that he enjoys singing with family and friends. Kevin Cronin's contribution was an REO Speedwagon standard. The opening round of the guitar pull finished with Emmy Lou Harris tribute to Gram Parsons by singing Juanita (written by Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman) and you can easily find Emmy Lou Harris other performance of this song on You Tube.

In addition to auctioning off a Gibson guitar with all of the artists signature, and a week on a remote Caribbean Island, another highlight of the evening was Gibson Guitar announcing a special edition of the Gibson Super Jumbo guitar made famous by Ray Whitley, one of the singing cowboys. These special editions are being made to help raise funds for the Museum expansion, and the Museum president had a chance to present the first replica to the family of Ray Whitley.

While the paying guests were eating dinner, I had the opportunity to visit with these four Nashville legends, and one rock star, while participating in a photo and interview session. I am working on a second blog post from this event focused on Emmy Lou Harris who got me hooked on Country music in 1974/75 when she played at the Cal State Long Beach Country and Bluegrass Music Festival. Seeing Emmy Lou Harris play at the Club Nokia was the fourth time I have seen here perform. Other times included Stagecoach and the old Palomino Club in the San Fernando Valley.

Please consider supporting Vince Gill's All for the Hall fundraising efforts  to preserve the legacy of our greatest country music stars. The following is a slide show of my best pictures from that night, but if you have an iPad click here to see the picture set on flickr.  These pictures from the fundraiser have been authorized for this blog posting  in the hope that some of you might be inspired to contribute to All for the Hall.

No comments: