(EBM) The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will explore the life and ever-growing career of 10-time GRAMMY nominee and CMA Entertainer of the year Eric Church in its newest exhibition, Eric Church: Country Heart, Restless Soul, presented by Gibson. The exhibit will chronicle Church's unique path to stardom, from his early years playing late-night gigs in bars and writing songs in Nashville to his current prominence as one of country music's most authentic voices and revered rule-breakers. The exhibit, which opens July 13 and runs through June 2024, is included with museum admission.
Having long eschewed industry norms with a sound and approach uniquely his own, the man praised by The Wall Street Journal as "knowledgeable and respectful of country's history, but not shackled by it" has held tight to his artistic identity throughout his more than two decades in Nashville, earning a devoted audience and amassing an impressive list of accolades, including 10 Billboard #1 country radio hits and over 50 million units sold across multiple Gold, Platinum and multi-Platinum-certified albums. A revered storyteller, Church has also written or co-written almost all of the songs he has recorded and released. He continues to fill sold-out venues with his raucous live show, as well as challenge his own musical approach with every new level of success he achieves.
"Eric Church has done it his way completely," said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. "His steadfast artistic vision and authenticity resonate deeply with audiences, and he continues to serve as an important collaborator and renegade role model for generations of country music artists."
The exhibit will include musical instruments, song manuscripts, stage wear, tour memorabilia, awards, photographs and more from Church's personal collection.
Examples of items to be displayed include:
the Harmony H-303 three-quarter-size acoustic guitar that belonged to Church when he was a child.
Ray-Ban Aviator Mirror sunglasses worn by Church onstage.
the Von Dutch trucker hat Church bought at a Mississippi truck stop in the late 2000s and began wearing onstage.
the outfit worn by Church on the album cover of The Outsiders and at the CMA Awards in 2013, which includes a Rogue two-tone leather jacket, John Varvatos shirt and Diesel jeans.
a sculpture made from vinyl records of various sizes, which replicates the soundwave of Church's recording of "Record Year" and was used as a prop in the 2016 music video for the song.
a Gibson Eric Church Hummingbird Dark guitar. Church contributed to the design of the limited-edition guitar and used it on his "Double Down Tour" (2019).
the Tom Ford purple suede jacket that Church wore when he and Jazmine Sullivan sang the national anthem at Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, in 2021.
In support of the exhibit's opening, the museum will host a public program, Writers' Round: The Songs of Eric Church, featuring Luke Laird, Jeremy Spillman and others, on Saturday, July 15, at 2:30 p.m. in the museum's Ford Theater. The writers will perform and share the stories behind the songs they have crafted with Church.