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Cosmic Cowboys And Honky-tonk Heroes Celebrate Outlaws & Armadillos Exhibit Opening May 25

April 25, 2018
Exterior of Country Music Hall of Fame taken from a drone.
Outlaws and Armadillos Logo
Joe Ely, Kinky Friedman, Gary P. Nunn, Jessi Colter Pictured L-R: Joe Ely, Kinky Friedman, Gary P. Nunn, Jessi Colter


Public program participants include Marshall Chapman, Jessi Colter, Joe Ely, Kinky Friedman, Austin-based filmmaker Eric Geadelmann, Jack Ingram, Kyle Lehning and Austin’s Armadillo World Headquarters key figures Eddie Wilson, Mike Tolleson, Jim Franklin and Gary P. Nunn

Nashville, Tenn. – April 24, 2018 – The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will mark the opening of its new major exhibition, Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s, with a lively concentration of programs highlighting the cultural and artistic explosion forged in the 1970s by two distinctly creative cities: Austin and Nashville.

The exhibit-opening festivities, which will cover two weekends, will include film screenings, panel discussions, interviews and a sold-out, all-star concert under the musical direction of Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings. The exhibit will run from Friday, May 25, 2018, to February 14, 2021. Programming is made possible, in part, by exclusive magazine sponsor Texas Monthly and supporting sponsors Ben Milam Whiskey and Luckenbach, Texas.

All programs are included with museum admission and free to museum members except as noted. Seating is general admission. Attendees must have a program pass to guarantee admission to the event. Museum members may reserve their program passes in advance by phone (615-416-2050) or via With the purchase of a museum membership ($50 / individual; $100 / family), visitors can attend most programs free, for one year, including programming related to Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s.

The decision to take a close look at Austin, Nashville and their relationship to each other during the Outlaw movement of the 1970s arose out of a collaboration between the museum and award-winning Austin filmmaker Eric Geadelmann. A co-curator of the exhibit, Geadelmann and his creative partner Kelly Magelky will preview footage from their Outlaw documentary and discuss the series, currently in production. Texas singer-songwriter Jack Ingram, who narrates the documentary series, will also be on the panel, which convenes at 1 p.m. Friday, May 25, in the museum’s Ford Theater. Geadelmann will also host a focus-group screening of one of the upcoming films on Sunday, May 27 at 2 p.m. in the Ford Theater. Singer-songwriter Jessi Colter, who appears in the series, will introduce the film.

Armadillo World Headquarters—an old armory building repurposed as a performance venue—had a tremendous impact on the Austin music scene and developed a national profile as an important common ground for hippies and rednecks. Co-founders Jim Franklin, Mike Tolleson and Eddie Wilson will join singer-songwriter Gary P. Nunn and veteran Texas music journalist Joe Nick Patoski for a discussion of the venue’s colorful history and enduring impact in Austin and beyond. The panel will take place Saturday, May 26, at 2 p.m., in the museum’s Ford Theater. “Beyond Music Row: Tompall Glaser and His Renegade Studio” will bring to light the funky, creative atmosphere of the late Tompall Glaser’s Glaser Sound Studios—nicknamed Hillbilly Central—Nashville’s ground zero for the Outlaw movement,. Singer-songwriters Marshall Chapman and Kinky Freidman will join hit producer Kyle Lehning, who served as an engineer at Hillbilly Central, for the panel on Saturday, June 2, at 2 p.m., in the Ford Theater.

The sold-out opening weekend concert, under the musical direction of Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings, will be recorded for future broadcast on satellite radio SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country channel. The radio presentation will include additional content related to the museum exhibit.

Check for more information and schedule updates at

Programs in Support of
Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s

Friday, May 25      1:00 p.m.- 2:30 p.m.

Panel Discussion: Outlaws on Film with Eric Geadelmann, Kelly Magelky, and Jack Ingram

The museum exhibition Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s will feature film content—including exclusive interviews and concert footage—by Austin, Texas-based filmmaker and exhibit co-curator, Eric Geadelmann. He also is directing and producing an upcoming, six-part documentary film on the topic. The documentary series will focus on the origin and evolution of country music’s Outlaw movement told from the point of view of the artists themselves. For this museum program Geadelmann will talk about his creative contributions to the exhibit, and share his work and plans for his documentary series. He will be joined by Texas singer-songwriter Jack Ingram (the on-camera narrator of films) and Kelly Magelky (producer and editor of the films). Ford Theater.

Friday, May 25      8:00 p.m.

Concert: Outlaws & Armadillos exhibit opening concert with musical direction by Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings {SOLD OUT}

In conjunction with the opening of the exhibit, Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings will present an outstanding cast of singers and songwriters to evoke the independent spirit and rollicking country-rock sound that started a musical revolution and shook the status quo on Music Row. Performers include artists represented in the exhibit: Bobby Bare, Jessi Colter, Joe Ely, Michael Martin Murphey, Gary P. Nunn, Willis Alan Ramsey, Kimmie Rhodes (appearing with Delbert McClinton), and Billy Joe Shaver; as well as singers and songwriters who carry forward the legacy of the era: Jason Boland, Jack Ingram, Jason Isbell, Jamey Johnson, Ashley Monroe, Amanda Shires, and Colter Wall. The concert will be recorded for future broadcast on satellite radio SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country channel.

Saturday, May 26      10:00 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Creative Zone: Make an Outlaw Bandana

Willie Nelson is known not only for his music, but also for his signature look, which includes a bandana and long hair that is often braided. Explore the style of the Outlaws, then customize your own bandana–the perfect look for getting on the road and making music with your friends. All ages. Taylor Swift Education Center.

Saturday, May 26      10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Family Program: Songwriting 101: Willie Nelson Style

Write a song as a group in this introductory workshop. Music professional Adam Ollendorff will teach the fundamentals of songwriting, including form, theme, and rhyme scheme. Participants will listen to Willie Nelson songs for inspiration. At workshop’s end, participants will sing and record their original song. Ollendorff has toured with Kacey Musgraves, performed with Willie Nelson, and written songs with Jim Lauderdale and Maren Morris. Ages 7 and up. Taylor Swift Education Center.

Saturday, May 26      11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Songwriter Session: Joe Ely

Joe Ely began his musical career in Lubbock, where he joined Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock in 1970 to form country-folk group the Flatlanders. Four years later Ely started his own band with guitarist Jesse Taylor and pedal steel player Lloyd Maines. He signed a recording contract with MCA Nashville and brought a distinctly Texan style to roadhouse country-rock. Ely opened tours for acts ranging from Merle Haggard to the Clash. He has released more than twenty albums, and the Americana Music Association gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance in 2007. Ford Theater. The program will be streamed live at

Saturday, May 26      2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Panel Discussion: Home with the Armadillo

The legendary Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas, hosted thousands of performances in the 1970s as the primary venue on the city’s booming music scene. The Armadillo provided a place where hippies and “rednecks” could come together to listen to artists such as Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, bluesman Freddie King, and roots and country favorites Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. Armadillo World Headquarters co-founders Jim Franklin (the club’s artistic director and frequent emcee), attorney Mike Tolleson, and Eddie Wilson will discuss the venue’s colorful history and its enduring impact in Austin and beyond. Rounding out the panel will be Gary P. Nunn, whose signature song “London Homesick Blues” salutes the venue and contains the lyric, “I wanna go home with the Armadillo/Good country music from Amarillo and Abilene.” The refrain was adopted as the musical theme for television series Austin City Limits. Longtime Texas music journalist Joe Nick Patoski—author of Willie Nelson: An Epic Life and writer and director of a documentary film about Doug Sahm—will moderate. Ford Theater. The program will be streamed live at

Sunday, May 27      10:00 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Creative Zone: Outlaw Style - Vests

One of Waylon Jennings’s most iconic looks includes a black leather vest, which he wore both on and off the stage. Explore the style of the Outlaws, then customize your own paper vest to express your individual style. All ages. Taylor Swift Education Center.

Sunday, May 27      Noon - 1:00 p.m

Musician Spotlight: Bobby Earl Smith with special guest Kimmie Rhodes

Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Bobby Earl Smith has been an important figure on the Austin music scene since the early 1970s. He was a founding member of pioneering country-rock group Freda & the Firedogs (featuring Marcia Ball); a part of western swing combo Alvin Crow & the Pleasant Valley Boys; and a frequent sideman for Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, and Doug Sahm. Smith partnered with Joe Gracey, as the Jackalope Brothers, to produce some of the first recordings by Double Trouble (a band that featured Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lou Ann Barton), punk band the Skunks, and West Texas songbird Kimmie Rhodes. Rhodes and the Jackalope Brothers toured Texas and recorded at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales studio. Smith will appear in this program accompanied by Rhodes. Ford Theater. The program will be streamed live at

Sunday, May 27      2:00 p.m - 4:00 p.m

Film Preview: Outlaws on Film with Jessi Colter and filmmaker Eric Geadelmann

Singer-songwriter Jessi Colter hosts a focus group screening of a single, feature-length installment of the documentary film series, in production, chronicling the era in country music explored by Outlaws and Armadillos. Austin-based filmmaker and exhibit co-curator Eric Geadelmann will offer commentary and answer questions. All are welcome, and participation in focus group activities not required. Ford Theater.

Saturday, June 2      10:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.–11:45 a.m.

Family Program: Beginner Guitar Workshop: Willie Nelson Style

Learn guitar basics, including a few chords and strumming techniques, through playing a Willie Nelson song. Songwriter and musician Jeff Middleton will lead this introductory class. Middleton was a member of the Dirt Drifters and has written songs recorded by Jason Aldean, Lee Brice, and Trace Adkins. Guitars provided or bring your own. Ages 7 and up. Taylor Swift Education Center.

Saturday, June 2      11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

Songwriter Session: Chris Gantry

Gantry penned “Dreams of the Everyday Housewife,” a classic recorded by Country Music Hall of Fame member Glen Campbell. His songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Reba McEntire, Roy Clark, kd lang, Wayne Newton, Billy Walker, and many more. He was a game-changing songwriter during Nashville’s 1960s and ‘70s, teaming with like-minded outlaws including Mickey Newbury, Shel Silverstein, and Kris Kristofferson to help reimagine the very language of country music. “Chris Gantry is the most consistent, dedicated, creative artist that I have ever known in my life,” said Kristofferson, who claims Gantry as an inspiration for his timeless song, “The Pilgrim, Chapter 33.” The program will be streamed live at

Saturday, June 2      2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Panel: Beyond Music Row: Tompall Glaser and His Renegade Studio, Hillbilly Central

Located two blocks from Music Row, Glaser Sound Studios was a funky and creative haven recording studio, publishing company, and musician hangout. Now-classic 1970s recordings were created in the laid-back atmosphere, including John Hartford’s Aereo-Plain, Waylon Jennings’s Dreaming My Dreams, and Kinky Friedman’s Sold American. The building, which became known as “Hillbilly Central,” was home to characters including wild-eyed genius singer-songwriter and producer Tompall Glaser, renegade disc jockey Roger “Captain Midnight” Schutt, and brash publicist and songwriter Hazel Smith. This panel will include tales of halcyon times from singer-songwriters Friedman and Marshall Chapman, and from Hillbilly Central engineer Kyle Lehning. Ford Theater. The program will be streamed live at

Sunday, June 3      10:00 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Creative Zone: Outlaw Style - Vests

One of Waylon Jennings’s most iconic looks includes a black leather vest, which he wore both on and off the stage. Explore the style of the Outlaws, then customize your own paper vest to express your individual style. All ages. Taylor Swift Education Center.

Sunday, June 3      10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Film Screening: Heartworn Highways (1976)

This documentary film by James Szalapski explores the country songwriting renaissance of the 1970s and the lives of the singer-songwriters who fueled it. Filmed in Texas and Tennessee, the documentary reveals a community of artists driven to create groundbreaking music. Performers include Barefoot Jerry, the Charlie Daniels Band, Guy Clark, David Allan Coe, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Gamble Rogers, Steve Young, and Townes Van Zandt. 150 minutes. Ford Theater.

Sunday, June 3      2:00 2.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Interview: Kinky Friedman

Musical provocateur Richard “Kinky” Friedman formed Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys in 1971 and recorded his debut album, Sold American, in Nashville at Glaser Sound Studios. The band went on to play the Grand Ole Opry and join Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue concert tour in 1976. Friedman’s songs include “The Ballad of Charles Whitman,” “Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed,” “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore” and “We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to You.” In addition to his work as a songwriter and satirist, Friedman is the author of eighteen mystery novels, the founder of the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, a cigar manufacturer, and 2006 candidate for governor of Texas. Ford Theater.


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