The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum treated media, industry insiders and Keith Whitley’s family and friends to a sneak preview of its new exhibit, Still Rings True: The Enduring Voice of Keith Whitley.
Despite the brevity of his career, Keith, who died at age 33, produced many significant country hits over the course of his four albums. His music continues to influence today’s country singers, including Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss, Tim McGraw, Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton and others. The exhibit opens to the public on May 3 and runs through April 5, 2020.
Items featured in Still Rings True: The Enduring Voice of Keith Whitley include stage wear, instruments and personal artifacts from Keith’s childhood and music career. Some highlights include:
- A Sony TC-540 reel-to-reel tape recorder with detachable speakers, used by Elmer Whitley to record the Lonesome Mountain Boys, a bluegrass group featuring his sons Dwight and Keith
- A Dangerous Threads bolero jacket worn by Whitley at one of his final public performances in March 1989
- A 1980 C.W. Parsons & Co. acoustic guitar with walnut finish used extensively by Whitley
- Original draft of Country Music Hall of Fame member Don Schlitz’s handwritten lyrics to “When You Say Nothing at All,” a No. 1 hit for Whitley in 1988 (co-written with Paul Overstreet)
- Whitley’s handwritten lyrics to “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” and “Wherever You Are Tonight”
Take a sneak preview of some of the items featured in the exhibit, courtesy of photographer Jason Kempin/Getty Images/Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
photo courtesy of Jim Shea/CMHOF