Rare Don McLean items going on display at Country Music Hall of Fame

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will feature items on display from award-winning singer-songwriter Don McLean in its long-running, permanent exhibition “Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music” beginning January 12th. Rotated often, these short-term, informal displays provide a closer look at a particular person or special anniversaries in country music’s history.

“Alan Stoker, Curator of Recorded Sound Collections at the Country Music Hall of Fame, is the son of my friend Gordon Stoker who founded The Jordanaires and who I recorded with for many years,” says McLean. “I have so many long-term and beautiful associations with musicians and music business professionals who have loved me and my music for decades. As a strange musical hybrid of some kind, I was always welcome in Nashville without reservation. I would like to add whatever I can to the storied past of country music as a musical representative of Americana.”

Artifacts on loan to the museum include:

  • 1997 Martin Model D-40DM Don McLean signature acoustic guitar (#7 of only 71 built). McLean has toured with the guitar since 1999 and it was played on the ‘Starry, Starry Night’ PBS TV special the same year. That special was also released as a CD/DVD and features Garth Brooks and Nancy Griffith.
  • A selection from complete, never before seen manuscript pages inclusive of “Vincent” (Starry, Starry Night) which McLean wrote as a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh. These are the original pages on which the song was composed, numbering over a dozen. They were written on the colored legal-sized paper McLean used for the “American Pie” composition manuscript, on display as a color photo static copy, and which sold in 2015 for $1.2 million dollars at Christie’s Auction House. Both songs were composed in 1970 and both manuscripts show numerous cross outs and other ideas which did not appear in the final songs.

Items on display in the museum’s long-time, permanent exhibition, “Sing Me Back Home,” are updated frequently. By regularly rotating displays, the museum offers a glimpse into its unique collection of over 2.5 million artifacts, which includes recorded discs; historical photographs; films and videotapes; thousands of posters; books; songbooks; periodicals and sheet music; personal artifacts such as performers’ instruments, costumes and accessories; and more. Recent rotating displays in “Sing Me Back Home” have featured John Anderson, Bob Moore, Ray Stevens and Keith Whitley.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.