Nashville Exhibition Celebrates Country Music Outlaws

The connection between Nashville, Tennessee and Austin, Texas, will be celebrated in a new exhibition at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s, which opens May 25, will "explore the complicated, surprising relationship between the two cities" and the rise of artists like Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Jesse Colter and Townes Van Zandt.

Museum CEO Kyle Young said, in a release, that the exhibit "offers an unprecedented look at some of the most compelling music and artists in music history.

"This was an era in which renegades Bobby Bare, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson fought for and won creative control of their own songs and sounds. It was a time when melodic poets Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt and Billy Joe Shaver elevated public perception of what a country song could be. It was a time when the Austin, Texas, music and arts scenes blossomed, and when characters like singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker, Hondo Crouch (who bought his own town, Luckenbach, Texas), armadillo art specialist Jim Franklin and University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal changed Lone Star culture. At the time, some of these things seemed unusual, even insane. Now, they all seem essential to any understanding of this great American art form, country music."

The exhibit features concert footage, exclusive interviews, as well as artifacts and visual art. There will also be panel discussions, film screenings and live performances. A companion book and album is also planned.

The exhibit is scheduled to run at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville until February 2021.