Reba exhibit opens at Country Music Hall of Fame

Country music superstar and actress Reba McEntire wants to share her life with you in a new exhibit opening Friday, August 9th at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, TN. Reba: All The Women I Am will explore the life and impact of the iconic entertainer through personal possessions, vintage photographs, career-spanning audio and video, rare artifacts and more. The exhibit is located in the museum’s East Gallery and runs through June 8, 2014.

Reba: All The Women I Am will take fans through McEntire’s life and career in chronological order. Everything from a high school report card to her famous red dress that she wore at the 1993 CMA Awards to a bag of Fritos graced with McEntire’s likeness to dozens of childhood and professional awards will all be on display.

“I hope they have the same kind of emotions that I do. They’ll giggle. They’ll laugh. They’ll cry a little bit. It’s very emotion, especially watching the video and reading some of the things around the room,” McEntire says of the exhibit.

The exhibit features dozens of artifacts from McEntire’s home that were carefully preserved over the years. McEntire states that the exhibit only happened because she’s a pack rat, and when she decided to have all of her items archived, an employee at her Starstruck Entertainment offices on Music Row contacted the Country Music Hall of Fame (CMHOF) about putting the items on display. McEntire joked that the curator of the CMHOF said that “this is the most stuff one artist has ever brought in” to be displayed.

McEntire claims she is currently looking for a permanent home to display the exhibit after it ends its run in June 2014.

Photo courtesy of News Channel 5, Nashville
Photo courtesy of News Channel 5, Nashville
The Country Music Hall of Fame has released a list of a few items fans can expect to see:
  • A handbill from Kiowa Elementary School’s Dec. 22, 1965, Christmas program. The program featured 5th grader Reba singing “Blue Christmas.”
  • A report card from Reba’s sophomore year at Kiowa High School (she earned straight As)
  • Reba’s first official stage costume, a silky blue blouse with coordinating vest
  • Larry Mahan boots, worn by Reba while participating in barrel-racing competitions
  • A check stub for a $25 payment to the McEntires (Reba and her siblings Pake and Susie) for a 1971 performance
  • The red dress”-the red jersey gown with nearly sheer bodice, designed by Sandi Spika and worn by Reba at the 1993 CMA Awards. Reba later said, “I got more press off that dress than if I’d won Entertainer of the Year.”
  • Assorted red dresses worn by Reba through the years when she performed her concert finale, “Fancy”
  • Reba’s “favorite” dress, a Sandi Spika-designed, teal, two-piece, silk shantung gown featuring a long train and beaded, sequined bodice
  • Costume worn by Reba when she starred in the Broadway production Annie Get Your Gun, including a suede fringed jacket and chaps, corset, hat and boots
  • Costumes worn by Reba in the films The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the DrawNorth and Is There Life Out There?
  • Dozens of awards, from childhood ribbons for barrel-racing and athletic prowess; to a selection of the superstar’s Grammy, CMA and ACM trophies
  • Items that reflect Reba’s status as a pop culture icon, including a Reba Barbie, a Reba lunch box and a bag of Fritos featuring the superstar’s likeness
Photo courtesy of News Channel 5, Nashville

Reba: All the Women I Am will be accompanied by an ongoing series of programs throughout the exhibit’s duration. All programs are included with the price of admission and free to museum members except a few occurring during the opening weekend festivities. They include a Songwriter Session with Liz Hengber and Will Robinson, who have both written hits for McEntire, and an interview with McEntire that will allow the star to commentate on the accompanying archival photo and video footage being shown. Both events happen on Saturday. Seating is limited and a program pass is required for the Songwriter Session while the interview with Reba is exclusive to VIP and invited guests. However, on Sunday, everyone in attendance can view a free showing of Reba’s Great American Country episode of Backstory that aired on the cable network in 2011.

Fans who can’t make it to Nashville to view the exhibit in person can own a piece of it through the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s online store that features special Reba: All The Women I Am merchandise to commemorate the nearly year long event.

Watch a behind the scenes video of Country Music Hall of Fame staffers preparing for the exhibit.

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.

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