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Dottie West exhibit unveiled in Nashville
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The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has unveiled a special spotlight exhibit dedicated to beloved singer Dottie West. The exhibit, which opened earlier this month, will run through May 2, 2013.
“I proposed this exhibit and have been working on this with our curators for almost a year,” said Kory Brandon, a former local radio personality who now works at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Dottie West: Country Sunshine incorporates costumes and relics spanning West’s four-decade career.
The exhibit traces the singer’s journey – from humble beginnings and an abusive father, to her zenith as an award-winning member of the Grand Ole Opry, to her untimely death in 1991. West charted dozens of singles, was the first female country artist to win a Grammy, and helped artists such as Larry Gatlin, Jeannie Seely and Steve Wariner begin or boost their careers.
Among the artifacts on display in Dottie West: Country Sunshine are:
• West’s handwritten manuscript for “Frogpond Boogie,” a song she wrote in seventh grade.
• West’s red-and-white gingham dress, sewn by her mother, circa 1950.
• King James Bible, given by the singer to her father-in-law on Father’s Day, 1959, inscribed with a personal message from West.
• Dottie West Fan Club card, circa 1961.
• Yellow Bob Mackie costume featuring a silk top with bugle beading, rhinestones, sequins and beaded daisy motifs, matching belt, satin pants, and embellished Pasquale Di Fabrizio boots. West notably wore the ensemble when she performed for President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., in 1977.
• Purple Bob Mackie ensemble, including a silk cocoon jacket and halter top adorned with red, blue and silver rhinestones, satin pants, and Di Fabrizio boots.
• Turquoise Mackie creation featuring a sequin-covered “Country Sunshine”-themed cape, blouse, belt, spandex pants, and Di Fabrizio boots. Actress Michele Lee also wore the outfit when she portrayed the singer in the 1995 CBS-TV movie “Big Dreams and Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story.”
• A selection of West’s rhinestone accessories, including earrings, belt and shoes.
• Hand-painted canvas trench coat with rhinestone-accented portraits of Judy Garland on the front and back, created by pop artist Robert Fischer.
• Homemade jelly, with “From Dottie West’s Kitchen” embroidered on the lid. It was a Christmas gift from West in 1989.
• Life-size cardboard cut-out of West made to promote her 1981 album “Wild West.”
• A number of career and personal photos, album covers and industry awards.
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation. More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is available at countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.