Eric Church Credits Others for His Country Music Hall of Fame Exhibit
Eric Church's Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit, Eric Church: Inside the Outsider, opens Friday (Sept. 18), and the "Like a Wrecking Ball" singer humbly acknowledges that neither the exhibit nor any of his other achievements would not have happened without the support of so many others.
"I walked through the exhibit that had my name all over it," Church told The Boot and other reporters at a media event to launch his exhibit. "Here's what I know: It has nothing to do with me.
"It doesn't matter how great your songs are or how great a singer you are. I know this now, that it's about the people, and they're in this room," he continues. "It's about the songwriters. It's about management. It's about the bands and crew, who give to me every night. It's about my family. It's about the people at our house.
"It's not about me, because it's not possible for one person to make that happen," Church adds. "I can't say how proud I am. I can't say how much I love each and every one of you. I'm blown away by where we are and by where we came from. It really took everybody pulling on the rope at the same time."
The display, which will run through February of 2016, includes Church's first guitar, a handwritten note from George Strait, a pair of Church's aviator sunglasses, various awards and much more.
"I have a distinct memory, when I was 23, walking by the Country Music Hall of Fame. And I remember just having a moment," Church recalls. "As a songwriter that had been told 'no' a bunch, if I had the chance, if I had a time machine, I'd go back and tell that guy what would happen over the next 10, 15 years, [and] neither one of us would believe it."
Carolyn Tate, senior vice president of museum services, also honored Church and his successful career.
"A couple of miracles happened when Eric Church began plotting his career as a Capitol Records artist," Tate says. "The first was that this kid from North Carolina had the nerve to ask his label to let him cut the songs the way he wanted to. And the second miracle was when Capitol Records took a gamble, because they believed Eric Church was a different kind of artist.
"And Eric tested their faith by proceeding to write and record songs that broke with every Music Row convention with Jay Joyce, a rock 'n' roll producer who did not yet have a history of country hits. Not yet," Tate adds. "Eric's songs weren't easy, instant hits, but his words touched people's soul, and he reflected the turmoils and triumphs of his generation.
"He took his songs to the people, and he put on shows full of raw emotion and energy. His one-of-a-kind recordings and extraordinary live performances led fans to take his lyrics to heart, and to recite them back to him with their fists in the air," Tate continues. "Eric converted his fans, one club at a time, then one theater at a time, and then one arena at a time. Step by step, he gathered a legion of impassioned fans who demanded to hear his songs on the radio, and Eric Church became a star.
"His heroes are guys like Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams Jr. and Bruce Springsteen -- all guys who did it their own way, too," she concludes. "And these are all artists whose songs are a part of the people's lives, and who are enduring for generations. Eric Church has become that kind of artist."
The Country Music Hall of Fame is located at 222 5th Ave. S. in Nashville. More information about Eric Church: Inside the Outsider, is available on the museum's website.
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