The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s <em>All for the Hall</em> fundraiser will return to Los Angeles for a second consecutive year. The event, which will take place on Thursday, September 23, at Club Nokia, will again follow a "guitar pull" format featuring performances by Country Music Hall of Fame members Emmylou Harris and Kris Kristofferson, superstar Taylor Swift, and a very special fourth chair that must remain anonymous.
The evening offers a unique opportunity to see these acclaimed singer-songwriters interact with one another as they take turns swapping songs, stories and personal recollections. The "guitar pull" is a Nashville specialty; it originated in the homes of Nashville songwriters who gathered to try out new compositions for their peers. Nashville’s most storied guitar pulls were hosted by Johnny and June Carter Cash. The hallmarks of a great guitar pull are spontaneity and camaraderie.
The Museum launched <em>All for the Hall</em>, its first-ever non-bricks-and-mortar fundraising campaign, in 2005. The campaign addresses the Museum’s need for long-term financial security and will provide a safety net for the institution and its work. This is the fourth year the Museum has taken its "annual giving" event on the road, hosting previous <em>All for the Hall</em> events in New York in 2007 and 2008 and in Los Angeles in 2009.
"This year especially, the event will provide much needed support as Nashville works to recover from the devastating impact of a once-every-500-years flood," said Director Kyle Young. "While our exhibits and collections are all on upper floors and never in danger, flood waters did reach ‘five feet high and rising’ in our ground-floor Ford Theater."
Last year’s event, also held at Club Nokia, featured performances by Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Dwight Yoakam and Melissa Etheridge; special guests included Chris Isaak, who also acted as host, Kara DioGuardi and Michael McDonald.
"Our <em>All for the Hall</em> Los Angeles debut gave us an opportunity to focus on West Coast country music history and remind our guests that these artists and executives and their songs are a part of the story we both preserve and teach at the Museum," said Young. "By design, guitar-pull content is unplanned and unrehearsed. It was very exciting to see West Coast country spontaneously become the theme of the 2009 performances, which included musical salutes to Gram Parsons, Buck Owens and Cindy Walker, among others," he said. "We are grateful for our warm welcome last year and look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones in September."
Describing last year’s event, Ann Powers of the <em>Los Angeles Times</em> wrote, "Any visitor to the [Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum] realizes that music also can take the form of a joke, a nursery rhyme, a prayer, a come-on or a campfire tale…Harris, Yoakam, Melissa Etheridge and Vince Gill touched upon all those forms, showing the flexibility of ‘country’ as they did so…" (10/2/09).
Guests at the 2009 event included legendary producer (and former Elvis Presley and Emmylou Harris pianist) Tony Brown; recording artist and songwriter Sarah Buxton; <em>Desperate Housewives</em> actor James Denton; eclectic singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones; renowned western tailor Manuel; actress-writer-director Marianna Palka; actress Mary Kay Place, star of television’s <em>Big Love</em>; and film-theater-television actor Jason Ritter, son of the late actor John Ritter and grandson of Country Music Hall of Fame member Tex Ritter.
For more, visit countrymusichalloffame.org.